Learning to stop and be still is absolutely necessary before we can listen and respond fully and gratefully to Life—moment by moment.
BR. DAVID STEINDL-RAST
When in a new state that actually feels like a new country it was difficult to stop and be still. We got our rental car and made our way to the road that would take us to our hotel. As Bob drove I was watching the fields of lava. Some were smooth. Most were blocks and stacks of slabs. I saw what I thought was an animal and thought no, my mind is playing tricks on me. And when I saw the second one I declared to Bob, “I just saw a goat!” He has learned to come alongside me when I blurt out things like that. When we saw more he became a believer. What in the world?
Eventually we learned there are feral goats on the island of Hawaii. Once thought to be a gift to the people they have become destructive and out of control. They decimate native plants, overrun certain areas, run across busy roads, prove a challenge to control and there are no natural predators on Hawaii.
The British brought most of them. The idea was to populate the island with a food source for sailors on future expeditions. Cook was killed during this final visit. However, British Captain Vancouver explored the islands in 1792 and introduced one male and one female to Kaua‘i. The islanders cared for these animals and used them for meat, milk, and skin. Goat reproduction was rapid, and some animals escaped into inaccessible terrain, founding wild colonies of ibex goats on seven islands. (The article says these are not true ibex.)https://backyardgoats.iamcountryside.com/goat-breeds/breed-profile-hawaiian-ibex-goats/
The Hawaiian government has encouraged culling the herds through hunting. So no, I wasn’t seeing things when I spotted that first brown goat atop brown lava. Whew! Had me wondering there for a minute.
One day we were driving down Mamalahoa Highway. Trotting along the side of the road, facing traffic, two goats came towards us, beards blowing in the breeze. They cracked me up! They acted as if they know they own this island. It all happened too fast to get a photo. Some of you might be remembering hearing in the Word about goats and sheep.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.Matthew 25:31-33 NIV
I saw a great quote just before we left Ohio. God says “Love them all. I will sort them out later.”
So be still. Watch for goats and other animals you might not expect. Respond gratefully to life moment by moment! God will sort out the people at the end, whether you consider them sheep or goats doesn’t really matter. It is up to our Holy Judge.
For the Lord is our judge,Isaiah 33:22 NIV
the Lord is our lawgiver,
the Lord is our king;
it is he who will save us.