I Am a Goat and a Sheep

I had a funny thought today. I saw on Facebook that people are sheep and just follow whatever someone says. Well, I was raised to have critical thinking skills so in that case I don’t usually go with something just because someone told me to. I think about the situation and come with a reaction based on my own opinion shaped by information I am given. In that case I am a goat. But the Bible says that I am a sheep, and I am. How can I be both? Let me explain how it is possible.

See, we people are sheep because we walk around not really knowing what is going on. Ok, for all you of who have never seen a sheep, the reason why people are called sheep is because sheep are stupid. They have no ability really of taking care of themselves. I had growing up a couple of sheep and the analogy finally made sense. Our sheep were so dumb that they would run away when we threw the hay over the fence and, if the goats didn’t eat it, the sheep would have probably starved because they didn’t have the common sense to come see what we fed them. They needed leadership to know what to do, and that is how Christians are supposed to be. We are read God’s Word and live by Him in order to know how to live our lives.

But there is a switch that happens when it comes to people who go against the grain in the world whether or not they are Christians and they are called goats. How to explain a goat? I would say smart, intelligent, troublesome, loud, and bold. They are awesome animals really. I like them personally more than sheep since they do have a mind in their head. But they are very hard to herd. If a goat wants to go one direction, guess what, it will only go in that direction no matter how much grain or hay you shake in their face. That is why in the Christian terms, unsaved people are called goats. They think they can do it on their own and more than like they will be eaten because they didn’t listen to the goat herder.

But where does that leave me? I am a Christian but I go against almost all of the culture around me both locally and on a wide spread scale. I don’t participate in local logic like the way city dwellers treat the world around them, and I don’t like the widespread issues like abortion. My Facebook wall shows that I am right winged and hate it when entitled people whine and complain when they don’t get their way, but the world around me says that I should hate white people, cry because my presidential candidate didn’t win, have so much debt to keep up with the Jones’ I should be drowning and should be ashamed to be an American. Most people just go with the flow and live their whole without having a single individual thought in their lives.

You have heard the analogy of the five monkeys right? five monkeys are put in a room with a banana on top of a ladder, but whenever a monkey goes up he is sprayed with water as are the rest of the monkeys. So whenever a monkey goes up, the rest start to attack him because they don’t want to be sprayed with water. Then slowly all the monkeys are replaced and each time a new monkey comes in, they rest attack them. When the experiment was at the end all five new monkeys wouldn’t climb the ladder but none of the monkeys really knew why. It was always done that way. That is how our culture has been formed in the last fifty years. We have strayed from the roots because someone like me decided to climb the ladder anyway and find out that the banana was worth it.

So what am I? I am a rebel and a follower. I am both!

I am a sheep because when it comes to life I need the direction of Jesus to show me how to live and love on people which then turns me into a goat because it is the opposite of what the culture around me says. How’s that for a mind bender? Never thought you could be two animals at once, huh? What would I be called then? A sheot? A geep? A goeep? I don’t know, but it is a very interesting animal. I can lead and follow, I can talk and listen, I can make decisions by thinking through but being open to other people’s ideas. I think being a sheot isn’t so bad. Are you with me? 🙂

The Importance of Community

I can just live me, myself and I. That’s what I thought growing up. But I couldn’t be more wrong. We need community to survive. I mean look at what happened to Tom Hanks on Cast Away! You can’t live forever on a deserted island for your whole life.

I never thought much about it but now I can see the importance of community and friendships on a daily basis. I just had coffee with a sweet friend of mine on day and a crochet hang out with another and it was so awesome! If I just hid in my house and became a hermit, I don’t even want to think about what an unhappy person I would be.

Now these relationships take work. I have a friend who moved across the country and sadly I don’t cultivate that relationship as much as a should since she isn’t local any more. But that doesn’t mean that having friends local will make the relationships blossom any more. You need to take time out for people and get to know them. Show them that they matter to you. Because at the end of our road, we want people to come to our funeral right?

OK, maybe that isn’t the only reason to have friends, but think about it. Wouldn’t that be depressing if no one came to your funeral because you had not taken the time to invest in anyone but yourself? Because having a  group of friends around you will make you better (as long as they are the right friends as mentioned in my blog posts Love Your Body Part 6 and Love Your Body Part 7 ).

So go create your own community and enjoy those special people in your life 🙂

True Inspiration

This is going to sound odd (actually most of my posts sound odd at first) but I found true inspiration for life the other day. I was sitting by my gym’s pool, reading a good book, and watched out of the corner of my eye the aqua class going on. Now what do you think of when you hear about an aqua class? Old ladies in skin tight hats doing a synchronized swim thing? Close. Mostly old ladies do aqua but I have taken a few classes and it is not as easy as it seems. Anyway, not the point. The point is that, after the class was over, I watched the women (and the one man) who took the class come out of the pool.

I was amazed at what I saw. Most of these women had to be in their late sixties and early seventies and they were still so full of life. All the experience they had acquired seemed to bring joy to them. I heard a couple ladies talk about how love used to be more personal in their day and dogging on the dating web sites we have now. Others were jabbering about politics and how things used to be so much more black and white. Now there seems to be so much more confusion and noise in the world.

Not to sound like a complete stalker, I did really enjoy listening to them. I hope I am like that when I get to be that age, Lord willing. Because I look at the stuff around me and I see only so far ahead. How is this going to turn out for good any fashion? The country is in the toilet and no one seems to care about each other any more. But these women had seen the full cycle of a lot that has gone on in their life times. They know that things may not make sense in the short term but in the long term they will work out vice versa. Somethings looked great in the short term but in the long term they have turned out to be  disaster.

So these ladies made me smile and gave me the push to keep moving forward in my life. Because today might look grim but there is always tomorrow.