Goats can be pretty goofy creatures.
Despite what you may have heard, they won’t really eat tin cans, but they will eat almost everything else. Paper, cloth, hair—if you pass out in a pasture with goats, you will wake up naked and bald.
Being taste connoisseurs, they of course really like the goat feed I give them every day, and not really understanding that certain feeds are for certain animals, like the horse’s feed even better. And because one horse can’t fend off three goats when they have their mind set on his food, I have to stand out in the pasture until the horse is finished.
If the feed were in a pan on the ground, even I couldn’t keep three goats from getting the food. Therefore we recently put the horse’s feed in a big blue bucket suspended from a tree.
This plan deterred two of the three goats. The third, a white goat with butter-colored cheeks named Popcorn, won’t let a little thing like height keep him from what he wants.
Popcorn stares up at the big blue bucket, longing in his eyes, waiting until my back is turned; then he jumps up and hits it with his front feet, startling the horse who takes his head out. Then somehow this silly goat gets his front feet up high enough to tip the bucket so he can get his head in. And there he stands on his hind legs with his front legs and head in the suspended bucket.
I, of course, get him out because, not only is he stealing sustenance from the horse who was pretty skinny coming out of winter, he is extremely FAT!
It occurred to me one morning that I am, on many occasions, just like that goat . I want, want, WANT what I do not need. The big blue bucket for me is sometimes a bigger house with room for all our hobbies. Some days it is breathtaking landscaping with an outdoor “room.” On other occasions, it is stylish (and expensive) clothes like I see in the Coldwater Creek ads. And what’s more, I want these things knowing there is no lack of needy people in the world whose big blue bucket is just one bowl of rice.
The only cure I know for discontentment of this sort is to get in the presence of God where His glory outshines every other thing.
When Popcorn starts staring at the bucket, I say, “Poppy, come over here.”
He comes over to me and rubs his head on my leg, and in those moments, he is content.