Pastoring or Pasturing - Having Fun with One Letter
A couple of months ago I took my car to the mechanic for some minor repairs. When I went to pick it up I saw that the name tag was Pasteur George. I chuckled because the friendly mechanic misspelled my occupation, but then I remembered that Pasteur had to do something with the milk which has something to do with the sheep which has something to do with the pastors or shepherds. My students who trust their computer implicitly in checking their spelling were surprised to find out that the word pastoring was changed with the word pasturing. Because in their context it was incorrect they had points taken off. Then, being the astute students that they are they argued that the word “pasturing” was appropriate because we are also called to be the shepherds of God’s people. Their argument reminded me of a soccer game that I played with the members of my former church in Chicago. As we played rough soccer, this brother ended up falling down and rising up with his mouth full of grass. As he was cleaning his mouth, he turned to me, the one who made him have his mouth full of grass and said: “You are a great shepherd! You know how to feed your sheep!” Christ tells Peter after the Resurrection: “Feed my lambs! Feed my sheep!” (John 21:15-17.) Peter remembers that when he writes in his epistle: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be: not greedy for money but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4. I pray that I will be a good pastor and I will do my pastoring with the utmost care. I also pray that I will be a good shepherd and I will lead the flock that God has entrusted to me in green pastures where they will be abundantly fed.