Lemmings

June 20, 2001
by Rod Marshall

Psalm 1:6 – For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (NIV)

I remember a cartoon once sent to me on a greeting card. The gist of it was a stampede of lemmings depicted running towards the cliff edge. In the middle of this scene of happy lemmings rushing towards their ultimate destruction was a solitary lemming standing still, erect, and thinking. The caption underneath read something like this: "It was at this point that Arthur realized that he was not like other lemmings."

I remember it because my name could have been Arthur. Although I can be spontaneous, I have seldom been one to follow the crowd, in any direction, to blindly jump without an interrogation of the facts and the consequential outcomes for me and for others. Despite this, in the heat of the moment, sometimes it is hard to do what is right. Which outcome is just for my selfishness, what could be for the greater good, and what can be just for fun? Who is the lemming with a metaphorical death-wish: me, or other people? It is fair to say that both have been true, but this usually becomes apparent only in retrospect!

My eldest daughter wears a wrist-band with a mnemonic on it, "WWJD". This translates into: "What would Jesus do?" I wear a wooden cross. It is a part of my credo. For me, it says unwritten the same thing as her wrist-band.

As I go through the day people glance at my cross, as it peeps out from behind my tie. I am glad to wear my cross because of what it proclaims, but it is there mainly as my personal prompt, a reminder to ask the question in the heat of the moment: What would Jesus have me do? Although it is not foolproof, it has saved my life a number of times!

John 10:14-15 – I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. (NIV)

Prayer: We praise you, Jesus, that you are the Good Shepherd who is never deflected from being at our side. Thank you, Lord, that you know us, and our weaknesses. Forgive us our sins and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Be to us the lamp for our feet and the light for our path as we follow you today. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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