Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd
by Don F. Pickett
PageTurner Press and Media

"By studying His physical creations that we can see, we can better understand His spiritual creations we cannot see."

Author Pickett here advances his well-considered thesis that by approaching the natural world alone and without modern distractions, one can appreciate and absorb the truth that lies beyond the realm of formal education and science. The humble, hard work of the shepherd provides a pathway into this higher comprehension. Just sitting on a rock and watching the flock graze, a shepherd will see and experience a wide variety of natural happenings that are not generally available to the naked, physical eye. These simple observations can lead to profound ideas. Away from the electrified city, a shepherd will observe the orderly movements of the earth in relation to the stars. Trekking with the flock reveals the variety God has planned: animals, flowers, rocks, soil, and raw, unsullied beauty. These lessons comprise what Pickett wishes to convey—that the Creator directs his creation so that his created ones will perceive and be grateful for their place in it.

Pickett, who oversees a large sheep ranch and has gained distinctions in the legal field, has chosen to ground his theme quite literally here, seeing the world and its wonders through the eyes of a shepherd who must continually be immersed in it. His theme is largely Christian, though not confined to that, as one example given of the value of shepherding is offered through the time-worn Islamic tale of a young man who learns “what cannot be taught” when he is given charge of a large sheep herd. Pickett’s chapters, styled as numbered “Lessons,” open with intelligent, often etheric poetry of his own making and close with useful footnotes and references for the facts and biblical quotations he provides. Throughout, Pickett maintains his stance that melding with nature can increase one’s awareness of higher realities, an experience that can lead to enthralling new vistas.

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