& Janet at Winchester Community Church
Spending winter in a line shack did not rate popular in an old time cowboy’s yearly list. It was a cold, lonely, harsh occupation. Before fences dissected the western range land, one-room cabins dotted every few miles of range land, a cowhand’s winter station. The lone post rode out to check the cattle, to make sure they didn’t drift over the mountain or across a frozen stream or through a canyon to another rancher’s grazing land.
Horses seem to have enough sense to seek shelter in a storm. But not cattle. They tend to drift. They wander during winter gales. That makes a cowboy’s chores full of discomfort and sometimes danger.
There’s spiritual drifters too. Jesus said most all of us look like “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). That’s why we need overseers. We need to be taught and cared about, so we don’t just drift through life and wind up in some dark pit or dead end. That’s what church is supposed to be all about—a fellowship that looks after one another. We need the active involvement—to stay between the lines of self-discipline, practicing love and learning truth--to make it harder to slip into treacherous territory.
The faithful, fruitful members of a church remind me of line-shack cowboys, trying to keep us all from wandering off and getting hurt.