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Summer of the Goats

goats1One summer, when I was a camper at Little Wohelo, I somehow landed the job of taking care of the goats.  I was in charge of feeding them, grooming them, rounding them up at the end of the day, and cleaning their pen.  It didn’t take long for the goats to begin to follow me everywhere I went.  They came to know my whistle, my routine, and which cabin I lived in for that summer.  They would jump around excitedly whenever they saw me or heard my voice.  Whenever, I went to an activity I had 3-4 goats on my heels.

While goats can be cute when they are behaving they also have another side which can sometimes border on mean if they don’t get their way.  Most of the time the goats were simply mischievous by nibbling on my camp uniform, bumping up against me, or running the opposite direction when I called them.  But let them decide they were going to be belligerent and you better watch out!  I got headed butted, knocked on my behind, and kicked numerous times that summer.  They were always sweet as can be after one of their belligerent tantrums.

The goat’s tantrums normally came on the heels of some form of discipline by me.  Whenever a storm came I would frantically try to round them up before the clouds opened up.  I knew by looking at the sky that a storm was moving across Lake Sebago, but all they saw was the day turned windy.  So, they had no desire to return to their pen when it wasn’t feeding time.  More than once I had to grab one of the goats by the scruff of the neck dragging them to the barn next to their pen.  This normally resulted in a hard head butt by the aggravated goat!  It would keep head butting me as it tried to escape back out to the open.  Needless to say, I became a master at dodging goats’ heads that summer.

Unfortunately, as I think about that summer I realize I’ve had my own days of acting like a goat too!  I go along all peacefully as the Lord feeds me through Bible Studies and Sermons, as He grooms me into the person He created me to be, and as He cleans up my life messes through healing.  I’ve learned to recognize His voice.  I follow Him where He leads me.  And when He calls me I come.

Then suddenly, the Lord starts leading me somewhere I don’t want to go because I’d rather be doing what I had been doing before He interrupted me.  I fight Him.  I even contemplate hiding, running, or simply ignoring Him.  What I don’t understand is that He sees the storm (the bad situation, the hurt that lies up ahead, or the relationship that is about to explode) that is on the horizon.  He knows where I will be safe even though I fail to see that He is trying to help me.  So, I fight Him.  I dig my heels in wanting to do things my way…not His.

I’d like to say that I only acted “goat-ish” once or maybe twice, but I’m a stubborn kind of gal.  So, I’ve tried to do things my way more times than I care to admit.  I’ve come to realize that if I would just follow the Lord when He suddenly starts leading me away I would save myself loads of frustration.  God will never lead me someplace that won’t eventually end up being better than the place that I reluctantly left.  I have come to trust that He truly does have my best interest at heart.

My prayer is that the longer that I walk with the Lord…the faster I will follow Him whenever He leads me someplace new!


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