Thursday, March 30
“It’s Thursday. Quit being who you were.” – Bob Goff
Bob Goff, the author of “Love Does”, has a weekly ritual. It’s called “Quit Something Thursday”. Each Thursday, Bob Goff quits something to free up time or shake things up. He has quit having an office. He now works on a lobster boat he refers to as the Goffice. He quit leaving phone messages to minimize the time that is wasted with the back and forth. He throws away furniture, and has even resigned from the board of a non-profit charity. Now the idea is not to back out of your prior commitments and become a wild-card liability for the people around you. Instead, the idea is to give God room to show you something new. Bob Goff suggests quitting habits that keep us from being the best we can be. On a more moderate scale, he suggests we might quit keeping score, quit sorting through our failures, or quit believing you are who you used to be.
So how does this relate to our reading today? In Ezekiel 34 the sheep were scattered because the shepherd did not care for them; the shepherd only cared for himself. However, we learn from Ezekiel 34:2-4 that it is the responsibility of the shepherd to care for the flock. Instead, the shepherd “eat[s] the curds, clothe[s] [him]self with the wool and slaughtered the choice animals, but [he]did not take care of the flock. [He] did not strengthen the weak or heal the sick or bound up the injured. [He has] not brought back the strays or searched for the lost” (Ezekiel 34:2-4). The shepherds are too caught up in their own lives, their own ideas, their own health and fortune, that they lost sight of their purpose. If not a shepherd, where is their identity? Thankfully God takes action and tells of the time when David (David’s line) will be the shepherd and God himself will be their God. We see parts of the kingdom here on earth now, and we wait excitedly for the return of Jesus and the kingdom on earth.
We, too are shepherds tending to a flock. As Christians who are no longer on milk, we have a flock to tend to. We have a Church who needs us to show up in more ways than to simply fill a seat on Sunday. As the shepherd cares for the flock, and strengthens the weak, we are called to do the same.
So the question becomes: what are you going to quit so that you can tend to your flock? Is your plate overfilled? How will you re-evaluate your obligations so that they align with your true priorities? It’s Thursday – quit something! I am going to quit washing my clothes because it takes up valuable time I could be investing in others…kidding mom, I really do wash my clothes. But in all seriousness, I will quit placing so much emphasis on how others perceive me, and instead trust that the identity I have in Christ will carry me where I need to go. What will you quit?
“We can’t change much if we don’t quit much” – Bob Goff