A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby Goats and Helping Young People Grow

We have baby goats on our farm right now.  They are so playful and fun to watch.  The above little one likes to nibble on things; my camera strap, for example. 
Aside from general cuteness, though, there is this thing they do which encapsulates, to me, what it is to be a mom.  I have been trying for years to get a good picture of this little trick.  Finally I had some extremely cooperative little ones and a very cooperative mother.  Here it is: 

These darling little babies love to climb on their mothers.  They work to climb as though this were Mount Everest and when they reach the top they sometimes even jump for joy.  Imagine what that must feel like with little pointy hooves digging into the mom's back.  I keep telling myself maybe it feels like a massage.  "Long suffering" is the phrase which keeps coming to my mind as I watch the momma goats.  I have yet to see one act as though she was bothered by being treated like a jungle gym.  Mostly they seem to ignore what is going on.  I imagine many moms can relate to this.  Jungle gym is one of the things which should be added to the job description of a mother, along with napkin, tissue, portable coat rack, etc.  But as I watched these long suffering mommas, I realized sympathy was not what I felt for them.  What I felt was more akin to shared joy.  While I do get annoyed when my children pull my hair or hit me in tender places, still it is wonderful to feel their uninhibited, playful affection.  It is a joy to watch them learn.  I think the momma goats could relate when I say there is great fulfillment in helping little ones reach new heights.  There is deep satisfaction to be found taking part in someone else's growth.  It is not only parents who experience this either.  Teachers, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, mentors, coaches, 4-H leaders, scout leaders, neighbors, and friends can all experience the joys of helping someone grow by simply investing time and care in our young people.

We get to watch them as they climb...

help them learn to relate with others...

be with them when they are just hanging out...

And help them when they don't know which way is up.

To all those young people who have given me the honor of allowing me to journey with them, to my daughters, and to all whom I will journey with in the future, I give you my deepest gratitude.  Thinking of you makes my heart feel full.

Posted by Sheri

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