Lessons of Nature, from a Modern-Day Shepherd
by Don F. Pickett

"Shepherds witness biological life begin and end on a regular basis."

Shepherds have time to contemplate life in its wholeness. This could begin with a shepherd alone with his dog and his flock, poking a stick into the earth and seeing a worm—leading him to wonder how life comes to be and to consider that humans can’t create even such a simple lifeform as an earthworm. When a shepherd studies the sky, he will marvel at the heavenly presence of light—not merely something to be turned on or off with a switch but a pale blue miracle that has both physical and spiritual capabilities. The dog’s bark or the bleating of a lamb reminds him that there are sounds the human ear can’t hear and cause him to ponder whether communication can take place without sound. A campfire suggests that even in the darkness his Creator offers an “armor of light.” The shepherd’s mental wanderings will lead to ideas regarding government, science, and the construction of man’s laws, which are sometimes in contradiction with natural law or God’s law. Will God’s system ultimately prevail? All these grand ideas may come to someone whose life is spent alone in nature.

Pickett’s book is a kind of protracted sermon, always focused on the Creator and the creation as seen from the viewpoint of a person whose status in life may seem to some rather humble and insignificant and whose time is largely spent separated from mechanical and technological devices. The author uses footnotes and occasional biblical or other religious quotations to underscore his ideas. Each chapter begins with a well-constructed poem by Pickett, utilizing clever rhyme schemes to illustrate certain points. The overall result is a charming, intelligent work of spiritual speculation based on carefully examined Christian ideals.

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