We've all seen images of various breeds of goats and sheep, especially Bighorn Sheep, butting heads and ramming each other with their huge horns. They primarily do this to establish dominance or to …
We've all seen images of various breeds of goats and sheep, especially Bighorn Sheep, butting heads and ramming each other with their huge horns. They primarily do this to establish dominance or to win a mate. But there is something astounding about Mountain Goats.
When two goats meet on a narrow path on steep mountainous terrain above a river, there is not a spare inch for them to move past each other. They instinctively know that if they butt heads to wrestle for the path, they will both fall to their death, drowning in the river.
But they also instinctively possess a solution to this problem, one that allows them both to safely reach their destination. They have found a way to help each other survive and thrive. One goat will lay down on the path so the other goat can climb over him, building a bridge with his own body for the other to cross over. Then they can both continue on their way in safety.
What a beautiful picture of humility and servanthood in the face of fear! I imagine it's a fearful thing for these goats to meet on that path. Only one can fit on the path, and if they can't figure out a way to peacefully solve this problem, they will both die.
Self-preservation is something we are all born with, and it's difficult to put others first as we instinctively look out for ourselves. But if we don't learn to put others' needs before our own “rights,” we are on a slippery slope that could end badly for us all.
This nation is at a crossroads, with fear and hatred running rampant. We can continue on this path, butting heads with one another and trying to win dominance. If we continue on that path, no one wins and hatred will continue to spread like a cancer, with only destruction ahead.
But if we begin to humble ourselves before others, looking for ways to serve one another, we will become bridges to a better tomorrow. Some consider humility and servanthood as being a doormat. But I'm sure the goat that is able to climb over the other one does not consider it to be a doormat, but a life saver.
Ephesians 4:2-3 tells us, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (NLT). Love always wins, as it casts out fear.
I like the way the Message Bible puts Philippians 2:3-4. It says, “Don't push your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others to get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Galatians 6:2-3 says, “Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important” (NLT).
We do not have to compromise our beliefs to put ourselves, our feelings and our fears aside to reach out a hand to another who has hurt feelings and is filled with fear. As we do, we become that bridge - that hand up - they need to move ahead on their path.
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