BY STEVE DUNN
Reading: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:8
That region was inhabited by some magnificent creatures, the Rocky Mountain Goat. Bigger than a man, strong, somewhat gruff-looking, agile and sure-footed. They really are an awesome part of God’s animal kingdom.
As I reached midpoint on the trail, now as narrow as two feet placed sided-by-side and even more perilously close the the frigid lake waters, I saw one of these creatures heading straight down the path towards me. I quickly began to assess my situation and had no desire to meet the goat head-on. Between us perched next to the path was a large boulder. I moved to it, stepped off the path (on the upward slope) and hid behind it. I figured I’d let him pass before I continued on.
I waited, and waited, and waited. No animal passed by. Finally I crept towards the front of the boulder and stuck my head out to see what had happened. And my face greeted the goat’s face on the other side of the rock looking at me, engaged in the same investigation. Sizing m up, the goat perked up, then turned and went straight up the steep hillside to higher ground.
The goat saw no reason to challenge me on the path, or maybe just took pity on this two-legged mountain novice.
In a world of confrontation, demanding of our rights, asserting ourselves, and just plain belligerence; we are reminded that such attitudes and the actions that result are often in conflict with God’s purposes and inflict unnecessary pain on the persons we cross paths with crossly.
Maybe it’s time for us to re-embrace Paul’s counsel and find God-honoring ways to live at peace with people.