The Love of the Camera Man

“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)

College football season ended Monday night. The NFL only has 3 games remaining. In one sense, I am very sad. I love watching football. To quote my 13 year old son: “The day after the last football game is right up there with the day after your birthday.” In another sense, it is a good thing. I get a large part of my life back.

If you, like me, have watched a lot of football recently – you have probably noticed something about the television cameras. They tend to focus on one guy when something goes really good or when something goes woefully wrong. Every time. The camera darts to this one man – usually with a hat or a visor – every time a great play was executed or if something horrific happened to his team.

The head coach.

The camera man loves the head coach of a football team. Why? Because the head coach is the one responsible. If a great play is called and executed, he is a hero. If it flops, he is a moron. If they win the big game, he’s a GOAT. If they lose, he’s a bum. If they win the game they weren’t supposed to win, he’s given a better contract. If he loses the game he’s supposed to win, everyone is looking for his replacement.

The cameras love the head coach because the head coach is the one responsible for how his team plays on the field. The head coach is the one that sets the tone. Establishes the culture. Becomes the envy of other teams. Emerges as whom the recruits want to play for.

Isn’t it interesting that David says God does what He does as his Shepherd “for His name’s sake”? Why? Why is that a big deal?
Why does that matter?

Think about it. If you were a sheep who watched another sheep who was literally “laying down in green pastures,” and walking “beside still waters” (in other words, completely and totally satisfied, happy, and content) – wouldn’t you want to be a part of that flock? If sheep had a “camera man” and were watching those under the care of the Shepherd, wouldn’t the camera pan to the Shepherd to know who He is, what He does, and how He does it?

The Father treats His children with such remarkable care because of His great love, for sure. But also so that those who aren’t yet a part of His fold will see how He treats His children, giving them the desire to be a part of His flock.

Christian – sheep under the care of THE Shepherd – we are to use our mouths to proclaim the Gospel every opportunity we have. But we are also to demonstrate to the world what genuine contentment really looks like. We are to show that the love we talk about that comes from God actually does, indeed, land on us and impact our lives. Sheep that said they were under the care of THE Shepherd, but were never able to lie down in green pastures, would not attract other sheep. Christians that said they were being changed by the love and care of God – yet who are constantly anxious and depressed – would never attract others. True followers ARE able to lie down and have no wants and have their soul restored and be led beside still waters. The Father makes them do it!

He does it for His name’s sake. He does it so the camera man will shoot the camera over to the One in charge. Psalm 23 is a psalm about what it looks like for those under the care of the Shepherd.

What picture of God is the world getting from you?