Kingdom living is amazingly demonstrated in the 23rd Psalm, here you see and feel what it’s like to be guided, cared for and nurtured perfectly. Since we are being initiated to be good kings and shepherds ourselves how can we apply these principles to our loved ones, our jobs, and, yes, even our cars, (surely you anoint yours with oil…just sayin)
I started a new book ‘Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23′ by Dallas Willard it says on the cover, but as you read the intro you discover Dallas’ Pastor compiled it after his death from a Bible study Dallas lead at his church on the 23rd Psalm. The opening chapter kind of blew me away because he just jumped out and said, “Hungry sheep would never lie down in a green pasture and thirsty sheep new walk by still waters.” So true; a life without lack, ever try to walk a thirsty dog or ride a hungry horse, they lead you to water and grass and drink and eat no matter what you do. Unfortunately your car can’t do that.
To bring this close and personal the question then: is your car in want…is your family in want..are your employees in want…Which falls in line with what John Eldredge talks about in the Stages of the Masculine Journey, that a good way to know how well a king is doing is by how it feels to be one of his subjects.
So let’s dive into it with your car and I’m sure that along the way we will all see many other applications to our kingdoms.
Psalms 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”
Can your car say that about you? Like sheep cars whine, and whistle to let you know something is wanted. To quote Barney here, “Nip it in the Bud”. You know that sound, that smell, something is wanted.
Psalms 23:2 “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”
Sheep run on good grass, your car runs on good grass that has been distilled into gas or ethanol. Similarly being filled up with the right kind of fuel is critical for a longer more fruitful car life.
You may know sheep won’t drink from fast running water, (they don’t want to fall in) and your vehicle is by no means isolated from your violent driving habits… It prefers that “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, the Eagles sang about.
Psalms 23:3 “He restores my soul, He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake.”
The only way a soul gets restored is to get in alignment with God and as people see the resulting fruit and good works they praise your Father in heaven.
Yes alignment, with God is something you and your car do together. Love your neighbor kind of thing, but also good stewardship of when and how to use your car for kingdom purposes. Clearly a good alignment lengthens your tire and suspension life, gives you better gas mileage, more bang for your buck, no coincidence.
Psalms 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me: Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.”
Take a walk in a junk yard and see all the lonely cars, abandoned by their once faithful lovers. Cars need your staff your hand on the wheel guiding them to good places and they need your rod, shifting them into the right gear for the right situation. Which with a car their brakes also require your care and gentle touch. You protect them with all three from running out of control or someone else running into you.. (perhaps you can see the application with your family or at work)
Psalms 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.”
Getting to know your cars enemies and how to combat them is a big part of car shepherding. Overheating, metal fatigue, friction, dry rot, rust, sun are just a few of your cars enemies. All the care you give to maintenance, oil changes, radiator flushes. Certainly every car is dying to get anointed with a good wax job. The picture of the Holy Spirit coming down on Jesus head and the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, way more than I can imagine but The great news is that when done well, it feels like heaven, your cup overflows.
Psalms 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
In the book ‘A Shepherd looks at the 23rd Psalm The author shares that Sheep are known to be the animals with the golden hoofs that when shepherded well they leave behind them a green path that brings life to those that will follow. What will your car’s legacy be? Will it have been used to advance the kingdom? God certainly intends it that way, the shepherd is the one who can guide it to its divine purpose…