Some days, I definitely feel like Kaldi. This weekend was one of those days. Saturday after an outing and brief rest, our eldest daughter comes in exclaiming that the buck is in the doe pen. Separation is a virtue when you want nicely flavored milk and expected kids. With little fanfare, some repairs, and a gentle tug of war (that I won), the buck was back in his pen.
But all too often, life consists in following the directions on the shampoo bottle: lather, rinse, repeat. Sunday afternoon as I headed out to milk, I raise my eyes and see the bugger back in with ‘his girls’. Now granted, the girls aren’t real happy to be chased about, snorted over, jostled and beat about the pen. In fact, I had to climb the gate so they wouldn’t all escape the interest of this wayward buck. Once my feet hit ground and buck saw me, he stood on hind legs. If you’ve never been around goats, this is a typical position that proceeds a stout head butting. I may be hard headed (ask my wife), but not that hard. And that’s also where the dancing ensued.
Dodging the attempted head-butting, I grab his horns. Quickly and deftly, but ultimately uselessly, I slip a leash over his head. It was useless because I could never release his horns for fear of being impaled thereupon. So there I went, leading buck out of the pen and around to his, with my eldest being the door operator. Once he’s in his pen, I realize that I can’t release him and turn to leave. So, in earnest, the struggle ensues until I’m able to safely depart.
As frustrating as this may be, and if my guess is right, it’ll be repeated today, I still appreciate what we get from the girls. Overall, they’re interesting and somewhat fun animals to have. Work -yes. But there’s nothing wrong with hard work. I’m thankful for the milk, for family, especially as they help (eldest daughter and wife, especially), and for a reminder that I am not perfect.
As I’ve thought about this and recounted it, I realize I’m even worse at ‘jumping the fence’ into what mess might be found. No, I’m not dealing with criminal or a congruent sexual reference, but the more ordinary sins that we all face. To God, I’m not a whole lot different that this contrary goat in rut straying from his pasture and pen for what is enticing. It’s reminded me that patience is needed more in my life, and a reminder that I’ve been given great patience from our Lord God. Sometimes, it’s humbling to work with the beasts of the field; they teach us much about ourselves.
Solo Deo Gloria,