First off, why do you think it was the shepherds that were told? Because they were awake, because they had easy air access since they were in the fields? Because they were lowly and meek? Because they had sheep to give?
It seems like I one time remember why, but I don't remember right now.
For me, I think it's because God knew they would listen.
And that is the lesson for me. Does God think that I will listen? Would he send angels to me, or would he send them to someone else who would more likely listen?
And if he did send an angel, would I run from my fields to find that new baby or would I first get the things done on my "To do" list and then I'd go buy a baby gift and THEN head over? In our local nativity the shepherds can't get their gate open fast enough to run to see the sweet new babe. I love that. I love how they didn't give a second thought to the other things in their life, because they knew what was most important.
What did they do after? Did they tell their wives, did they tell their families, or did they go back to the field and ponder. I'd kind of like to know. I'm sure they told people, I'm sure they pondered. I'm sure it was one of the best nights of their life.
But, then they continued as shepherds, which isn't an easy occupation. It's not like that spiritual event happened and suddenly they were members of the king's court.
Maybe what I can learn most of all is that amazing things will happen but I still need to live my life so I can see Him when I die.
I'm grateful for the example of the shepherds, and not just because people look awesome in a dishtowel and a headband when impersonating them.