What a voice do sheep make

"The sheep follow him because they know his voice"

The parable of the good shepherd is evidently about very intelligent sheep: You can tell immediately whether a good shepherd is calling you, who wants the best for each individual sheep, or whether deceivers and thieves are trying to dissuade you from a safe path. They just trust and wait patiently. If only it were always so easy for us humans to recognize who means well for us, who speaks the truth and who tries to lead us astray with a wrong voice.

I believe that we often find it difficult to draw the right conclusions from the no longer manageable number of opinions, possibilities and expectations. We know this feeling from the past few weeks, when doctors, scientists, journalists and politicians continuously discuss the latest scientific status and the latest findings on the virus. The information density with which we are confronted is high - what was still valid yesterday is sometimes discarded the next day, innovations come into force almost every day. It is sometimes difficult to maintain an overview and to know which voices can be trusted. It is equally challenging to accept the tension of the current uncertainty. We are persistent sheep, eager and attentive to listen to the paths that politics will allow us to take.

In addition, there is a whole range of conspiracy theories and fake news - sometimes insane, sometimes more subtle and believable - that circulate unchecked on the Internet. Among them, for example, that Bill Gates is behind Corona, that the virus is transmitted via 5G transmission masts or that the virus is a punishment from God for homosexuality on earth. Right-wing extremists and groups in particular spread corona fake news that strengthen right-wing populist narratives. It is inherent in populists and conspiracy theorists that they speak in a loud, demanding voice that does not allow for contradiction. They offer us simple explanations for complex phenomena and quickly find the right scapegoat. These theories and false facts exploit our need for meaning, order, need for protection and a simple interpretation of our living environment.

Various media help us to straighten out the confusion of voices and to recognize false reports, including: ARD fact finder regarding Corona: https://www.tagesschau.de/fotos/factenchecks-corona-101.html or the “fake ticker” of the BR Facts Foxes: https://www.br.de/nachricht…/ffektenfuchs- Faktencheck,QzSIzl3

So it is worthwhile - not only for sheep - to pause for a 'pasture check' every now and then and ask yourself: Who or what am I actually chasing after? Am I a sheep that blindly chases the voice that screams the loudest? Do I tend to take the most obvious, easiest route, or do I manage to pause, wait patiently and endure the ambiguities of life? I read a promise from the parable: Whoever enters and leaves through Jesus as the door, as the access to God, finds complete satisfaction, protection, security, a space in which he can be and belongs. So the parable says a lot about what and how, but nothing about when. Endure, check facts, be patient, trust and appreciate what the pasture has to offer. I think that's the best we can do right now.