Friday, 3 February 2012

Mountain Goat Living

Mountain goats aren't very sociable. Who's ever heard of a flock of mountain goats? No. Mountain goats are rather solitary creatures. I guess they're also rather proud as well. They no doubt think they have good reason to be proud. After all, they can traverse steep terrain like nothing else. They are so sure-footed, they can ascend up a lofty mountain ridge that would almost certainly mean death for even the most experienced mountaineer. Mountain goats must consider themselves the king of their mountain domain. But mountain goats may be solitary, talented, and regally proud, yet even they know something many lesser-qualified humans know...

The high mountains are for the wild goats;
Psa. 104:18a

When a mountain goat is coming up a steep razor's ridge when he confronts another mountain goat coming down the same ridge - his pride tells him "Don't give an inch!" But his mountain-smarts says something else. Acting on his pride would mean certain death for him and his fellow ugly. But doing something that doesn't come naturally, will ensure that he can continue to lay claim to the title: King of the Mountain. He must lie down and let the other goat walk over him. This act more resembles what a dumb sheep would do rather than what a kingly bovid.

There are some situations in life that are like this. We can choose to not give an inch and die as a result. Or, we can lay down our pride and live on. Even the toughest goats must behave like sheep sometimes in order to live.

In describing the Final Day, Jesus said that He would separate sheep from goats. For someone, who all too often acts like a mountain goat, Christ's approbation of sheep on the day the counts like no other is a warning to the like of me that I cannot continue to act like a goat - especially when it comes to how I treat others on life's high ridge moments. I'm sure it's not comfortable to have another goat walk over you, but then I guess it's less comfortable to have six inch nails driven through your naked wrists and ankles as you give up - not just Your back - but Your whole life for undeserving and often ungrateful goats.

The next time you "butt" heads with someone, you might want to remember this little detour into the world of mountain goats.

Ps. Andrew Corbett
3rd February 2012 writing from Legana

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