Star Trek Voyager is a fun series that Dallas has a lot of nostalgic feelings towards. In one episode called, “The Good Shephard,” the crew of the Voyager are under review. Out of that review it is discovered that three members in particular are falling behind the rest of the team. These three individuals, in all honesty feel like they are just “filling a spot” like they don’t actually belong on the ship itself.  Captain Janeway decides that she’s going to personally see to making sure these individuals are not only on their game, but understand that they are valuable members of the crew. She decides that she would go out of her way to make sure these individuals know that they are part of something bigger.

This challenged Dallas. Like the members of the voyager, we can not simply get off the boat called life. We can’t always escape the situation we are in or the people we are around. There are people in our lives who feel like they are only filling a spot, that they have no real purpose. There are many of these individuals in the church itself. They feel left out, lost, and abandoned.

Individuals like this may find themselves looking for some sort of escape. They want to get away from life and situations Some do it by diving head long into work. Some become obsessed with hobbies. Some people subconsciously try to escape by dwelling on health issues. Some, unfortunately, try to escape by doing things that either immediately or in the long run, cause them serious harm. They need someone to reach out to them. They need someone like Captain Janeway who says, “Nope! Not on my ship.”

Through out the episode, Captain Janeway keeps referring to Matthew 18:12-14, the story of the Good Shepherd who goes after the lost sheep. What we want you to understand is that YOU are not the “Good Shephard.” Your pastor/reverend/mentor is NOT the “Good Shepherd.” But what you, and they, may be is a tool in the hand of Good Shepherd. While it is the job of the Holy Spirit to draw people back in, you may be the tool in the hand of the Father. You may be the one tasked with reach out to these individuals. It may be scary at times because you’re not sure what to say or do, but remember, you’re just a tool. Let Him use you to reach others. Let Him use you to let people know that they are loved, that they are cared for, that they have place and purpose in life.

You may not know what to do. You may not know the right words. But take a step, let God use you to point people back to the Father.

You may be one of these individuals who have found themselves in this kind of situation. We want you to know that you’re loved, that you are cared for, that God does have a plan and a purpose for your life. You may be asking, “How do you know that?” Because you’re here reading this paragraph. Through God’s divine grace, you’ve been to this article. Perhaps you were looking for something on Star Trek. Maybe someone forwarded this to you, maybe you found us on social media. Whatever the case, whatever the cause; you are here now. Please know…

You are loved. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to the fear, the doubt, and the temptations to give up. Choose life, lean into the hope of Jesus.