by Jenny Harrison
Sometimes, I can look back at my life and honestly say that I have made a decision or choice that was asking for trouble. However, I must admit that many times trouble came looking for me. This story is about one of the latter incidences.
It was not the the typical start to my morning, but it will be an event that my son and I shall never forget. Daniel was in kindergarten, and I was the school speech pathologist. We were both required to be on campus no later than 7:30 a.m. The next day, after my husband left for work, my sleepy-headed child and I were desperately trying to pull ourselves together. This consisted of the normal morning routine before we gathered our belongings, headed out the door, into the car, and drove five miles to the school.
As we were about to leave, we heard three very loud and distinct knocks on the front door. We both had a bewildered look on our faces. I peeped out the oval glass in the door. At eye level, there was no appearance of anyone at the door. I decided to go to another window in the house so I could get a clearer view of the front porch. I began to laugh, and Daniel asked what was so terribly funny. I opened the door and there was our visitor…a billy goat!
I asked the goat ,”What on earth are you doing here?” He just stood there and stared at me with his little beady goat eyes. With authority, I told him to get out of here….Scat, Shoo!!! But he just stood there. I then thought about my need to get to work and get my son to school, so I popped the goat on the head and DEMANDED that he go away. It did not take me long to regret that action! Our beady eyed and unwelcome visitor was prepared to defend his new territory as if he were king of the porch. He ducked his head, scratched his front paw on the cement, and began to charge at me! I don’t know who squealed the loudest, my son or me. But I do remember slamming the door quickly, only to hear the loud thud of his horns ram thunderously into the wood.
In about five short minutes this beast had gone from cute, to slightly irritating, all the way to maddening. It was about time this animal found out who was boss, and I was just the one to do it!
I created a plan. I knew where we could find rope. We could take the rope, tie a noose around the goat, and tie him to a tree or post until my husband could come home and deal with the pesky animal. My son and I thought this was a great solution to our problem, so he enthusiastically ran to get the rope. The problem was the rope was not nearly as sturdy or as thick as I remembered, but it was all we had. I prepared the rope, bravely walked out to the porch with a sort of female version of Clint Eastwood “make my day” attitude. (Ok gals, I have been living in a house with all males a little too long…there is way too much testosterone in this place.)
I managed to get the rope around the goat’s neck, and as I started to drag him to the post, the rope snapped! Now I was in a real pickle because the goat was highly perturbed and had positioned himself between me and the front door! If I tried to get around him to get in the door, he would charge at me. At one point, he did charge and managed to strike my leg which left some bruising. I was thinking that a plan B was in order. I could tell my son was starting to become anxious, so as calmly as I could, I gave the next instructions. “I am going to start walking to the back door. I need you to go to that door, unlock it, and be ready to open it so I can get into the house. As I started to walk slowly toward the back door, the evil goat glared at me and began to follow me! He followed at my pace keeping himself about a foot behind me. I walked faster, and the goat picked up his pace, nipping at my heels. I began to run in fear screaming, “Daniel open the door, NOW!!” Daniel did as I said, and as I ran in, he promptly closed the door shut, and the goat horns slammed against the full glass door.
Daniel asked, “Mom what are we going to do now? We can’t get to the car, and I am late for school.” Being late was a concern for him because he had not been absent or tardy all year and was working toward his perfect attendance award. I assured Daniel that the principal and school secretaries would understand our dilemma and have mercy on us.
Out of breath and feeling somewhat frazzled, I proceeded to dial the school number. I was relieved when one of the secretaries promptly answered. I wasted no time letting her know about my crisis and felt confident she would understand our ordeal. But before I got very far into the story, I heard a loud thud from the phone receiver on the other end. It seems she could not hold on to the telephone because she was laughing so hard. Then there was MORE laughter when the other secretary and the principal heard the story.
When the staff were able to compose themselves, the secretary came back on the line and calmly explained, “Jenny, don’t you worry about not having an excused tardy. In all the years we have been at this school, we have heard every excuse in the world for being late but never, and I mean NEVER, have we heard that someone could not make it to school on time due to a crazed goat gone wild!” I was thinking at this point that it did not matter if the tale were true or not, I should receive an A+ for originality.
Next, I contacted my sister-in-law who had no fear of crazy old goats. She also had a much sturdier rope. The goat was successfully tied to a tree and later returned to its rightful owner.
As I reflect on this story and chuckle, I can’t help but notice similarities between this incidence and life in general. (Ok, I admit that sometimes I tend to over analyze things.) How many times have we been floating or coasting along and all of a sudden trouble strikes? We did not plan it, did not anticipate it, and did not ask for it, but here it is staring us in the face. Some of these more serious incidences have left me exhausted, depleted, scared, and even at times, embarrassed. But there is hope when trouble knocks on our door. I take comfort in the word of God when fear strikes my heart:
But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly. Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me.
Psalms 31:15-17 (NLT)
The Lord says, “I will rescue those that love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
Psalms 91:14-15 (NLT)
Copyright © 2012, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NLT