I was recently reminded that carelessly leaning on the wrong support will lead to negative consequences. Fortunately, the outcome often leads to only a minor reminder that we’ve made a foolish decision.

While driving along the interstate in central California, I had noticed a flock of sheep not far from the highway. As often happens since our shepherding journey began a few years ago, I took the next exit. We drove down one dirt road after another until we found the flock. The usual modern-day shepherd’s tools were there: a small travel trailer, a water tank, and a solar panel. The shepherd wasn’t nearby and there were no guard dogs to keep us away. Instead the flock was surrounded by a temporary three-strand fence that provided protection and control in the absence of the shepherd and his dogs.

My wife and I couldn’t miss this opportunity to tape a short video for a project we were working on. She beautifully narrated all that had been in her heart. We shot clip after clip at the edge of the field using only my smart phone. After countless attempts, we had a version worth considering.

Then it happened…

As I was lowering the phone, Holly leaned against the fence. Zappp! She yelled and jumped at the same moment. It gave her a jolt, for sure! We couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Neither of us had paid much attention to what was obviously an electrified fence. We were so focused on the task at hand, that we hadn’t taken time to notice what was between us and the sheep beyond the wire.

Leaning in life often gets us zapped, especially if we’re not focused on what and who we’re depending on for support. Wrong influences lead to wrong impulses and, too often, to wrong decisions. There is one perfect solution provided for each of us if we want to avoid the pitfalls of leaning on the wrong support.

The Good Shepherd.

Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the Godless.
What he trusts in is fragile: what he relies on is a spider’s web.
He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold.
Job 8:13-15

What are you leaning on?