Christ leads us to greener pastures


“None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master … both in life and in death we are the Lord’s,” St. Paul writes. He is implying that our lives do not belong to us; there is a certain freedom in knowing that. What possible freedom could this be?

Deacon Cranston

Some may think surrendering ownership of our life it is like being a slave. A slave is forced to submit to oppressive commands and lives in fear of being punished. A slave does not have any say about how he or she lives their life. This is not what it means to surrender our life to the Lord.

Christ does not tell us that he is our master and we are his subjects. Instead, he portrays himself as a shepherd saying, “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” That is where we find freedom. No matter what mistakes, errors or bad judgements we make, we know that we always have a loving shepherd who will protect and lead us if we follow him.

Life is not all about having wonderful friends, cute kids, fancy homes, nice cars and white picket fences. Life is working long hours, fighting through struggles, hospital stays, paying bills and trying to keep it all together. We do not have to do it all on our own. Christ the Good Shepherd is there, waiting to take over and lead us to greener pastures.


Though we walk through the valley of darkness, as the psalm goes, we do not have to fear evil for his rod and staff will comfort us. In his love for us, he will set a table of plenty before us; when we let his love enter our heart, our cup will overflow.

Yes, we may still experience fear and trepidation even if the Lord is watching over us. Struggles and setbacks may make it seem like our cup is not overflowing. What it does do though, is give meaning and purpose to the suffering and hardships we experience throughout our life.

Our purpose in life is found in the ultimate destination where the Lord is leading us. A greater meaning can emerge from life’s confusion and setbacks when we give it up to the Lord. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days.

(Deacon Cranston is pastoral associate for St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Holy Trinity Parish in Richmond and St. Joseph Parish in Wellman. He can be reached at

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