Monday, August 11, 2008

Old Goats

Some days I feel like an old goat. Stubborn, rigid and not interested in anything but the tasks ahead. We watched at the County Fair the other day as young people tried to show off their prize goats for the judges and we saw how difficult a task it is. Goats want to go their own way. They don't herd easily, don't line up cooperatively, nor do they enjoy being examined. They want to be left alone and are, at the same time, bright and very curious about other beings. They are stand-offish and yet they have lead stomachs, can eat almost anything without ill effects and have incredible survival skills. They would make great world travelers, if they weren't so cranky and uncooperative. Today, after a long few days of travel I am feeling like an old goat. Stubborn, rigid and glad to be in my own surroundings.

Nicodemus came to Jesus (John 3:1-21) in the night as an old goat. He was very curious and understood a great deal of who Jesus was. And he wanted to know from Jesus what to do to have life. And Jesus told him he had to be born again. Nicodemus was an old goat. He liked his own surroundings, he was comfortable in his world and with his belongings. He did not want to begin again, be vulnerable, dependent on others, dependent on God. Like Nicodemus, we can hear Jesus answer and pull and jerk away. We mostly like being old goats, and I for one, have a hard time, being born of the spirit, born of God, vulnerable and newborn, reformed, remade and restored in the image of God. So I am challenged this day, after a long traveling session to be born again, to be made new in Christ, despite my own desire to control the world and others and reform them to my ways. May we all have the courage to acknowledge that we want life our own way, and move beyond that to accept Christ's tender gift of life made new - reborn of spirit, with all the vulnerability that comes with life as a child born of the spirit of God. It's easier being an old goat - Lord give me the strength today to be a tender lamb again.

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