Creepy Sheep and Discipleship

Here is a creepy sheep video to start your Thursday (it’s short, see if you can see what’s wrong):

I don’t know why exactly this intrigued me so much, but I kept looking at it and reading about it. At first glance, it just seems like a regular sheep. Even as you get closer it is hard to wrap your mind around what is going on. But when you figure it out, it is both shocking and intriguing.

I was reading about it, and as far as they can tell the sheep experiences no pain. Other than the head being upside down, the sheep is perfectly healthy. You can even see him eating with no problems. Everything on the sheep is normal except for its upside down head.

Perhaps one of the intriguing things about this to me is simply the idea that it is “upside down.” This intrigues me because the more I follow Jesus, the more His way seems “upside down.” At times, it seems that everything that flows naturally from a person is subverted in the way of Jesus. I have often heard his way called “The Upside Down” kingdom.

But I recently heard a description that turned this on its head (see what I did there?). I actually don’t think Jesus’ way is upside down at all. I think what is actually going on is that Jesus is the only one who sees things right side up. The world we live in is what is upside down.

If you don’t believe me, read the news headlines. I was scrolling through some of the headlines over the weekend and found myself shocked. It is overwhelming at times to see how destructive the world is. Violence and oppression fill each day’s news. We even have times where we are shocked by the actions of people we know. It doesn’t seem to be a difficult case to make.

Jesus takes an upside down world and wants to show us how to live right side up. Sometimes that is difficult and frustrating. Sometimes it causes pain. But one of the foundations of this blog is that the three of us hold firmly that this way is always the better way to live.

But I think a lot of us live life like this sheep.

We haven’t quite decided that we are upside down. We go to church, we claim Jesus, nothing in life seems to out of control. Our way of life doesn’t seem to be hurting us, so we assume we must be living right side up. So we go on with an upside down view of the world and have decided we are fine with it.

To be truly upside down, we need to recognize that the road will be difficult. Most of us shy away from things that are truly difficult. So we walk around upside down and become okay with it because it isn’t causing any pain. We have gotten used to being upside down.

If we want to truly follow Jesus we need to realize that doing so will go against how most people function in the world. It will look funny. It won’t make a lot of sense. It will be difficult. So if we want to know if we are truly following in the way of Jesus, these are the marks we should be looking for.

We need to learn to live right side up in and upside down world. And the way we do so is by following after Jesus just like a sheep follows a shepherd.

This idea begs for stories. When have you done something “upside down” or difficult and it ended up being the better way to live?

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