Ben has heard there was this book, full of truth. He was a bit sceptic about it, because who says it is so? The author? The readers? Or the words itself perhaps? The publisher? He knew this book was also the perhaps most misquoted books of all times. It’s probably also a book that although people quote from it, they haven’t read it to the end. Like they just opened a cookbook, to see how much water you add to flour, not knowing the difference between shortcrust pastry or shortbread crust. Sheep knew that when you take things out of context, you can make words say something else. If you translate words, they can change meaning all of a sudden. Utter them in a different culture, and you get confusion. So how was this truth the truth then, if within one minute he could think of ways it could be distorted..
He had heard someone say that you have to count it as joy when you experience trials. That was kind of crude! Why is poverty a joyous event? How could you feel happy during persecution? But when Ben reread it, the text didn’t say that he should feel happy when trials come, that would be an absurd command. It was more like a checkbook account command, to see hardships as deposits and not withdrawals of our life.
Ben knew some hardship. He almost wanted to enter it into the dictionary with a new word: hardsheeps. But Ben also knew that even though he did not always have control over his circumstances, he did have control about how to think about them. He could still feel sorrow or anger over them, but eventually he was to tally it under joy.
Ben was bad at drawing. He was good in a lot of things, but drawing wasn’t one of them. And he even thought of looking up that in the book of truth, if there was any command that said: ‘thou shalt draw perfectly.’ Luckily there wasn’t such verse to be found, as a matter of fact, he read more about having relationsheeps with others than trying to be perfect by yourself.
He thought how he could picture the mind shift in facing hardsheeps, because if your own view of something isn’t the truth, but the something is, then he had to change its view to the something.
He could still not bleat in the streets after being soaked in mud after a storm, not dance around when he would notice the little ewes painted the whole living room fence with red dye, still not go out for a lush clover dinner after he had been wrongly accused for jumping in a river, still not burst out in sheepish laughter after a broken heart, no, nothing of the sort.
But, he knew there would be trials, for everysheep, they are numerous, they are continuous, and good can come from them, so they even are desirous, because, so sheep read, they make us stronger, they develop character.
So another sheep may be utterly shocked by what is happening, but he will just see the outsides of it. It doesn’t mean though that you deliberately go looking for storms or deserts (desserts is another topic, when you start adding s to stuff, you’re up for a treat). From the outside yes it looks like you get hit on the head a lot. But maybe the question you should ask yourself is whether you are looking for excitement or for happiness.. two totally different things..
Because what if you change perspective and not see things from your emotion (or head ache in this example) and see the bigger picture? Then you won’t see the trials as inconveniences and beg that it would stop, but you’d see that it only drives you deeper into the wood. So you are being used even for a bigger purpose and something that is ultimately good.
If you weren’t a sheep but a nail, wouldn’t the perfect world be that you had a hammer around you, and someone who uses that hammer perfectly, knows what he is doing, and who would make sure you were firmly positioned into place? Or would you rather have been untouched, unused, boxed up together with your 23 friends (because for this story nail boxes consist of 24 pieces), so just boxed up, lid closed, in the back of a store, never sold, never reaching the full potential? The hammer would still be used probably, using other nails, to hang up this beautiful painting for the world to see.
So, sheep decided to believe the truth that he was to consider his trials a pure joy because in enduring them he would become steadfast. And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.