When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from the another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Matthew 25: 31-33
We’re off! Another new school year us upon us and I’m blessed with a new crop of middle lovelies. Even after all these years, a new school year always comes with a mix of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and joy. It’s sad to see summer come to a close but I’m ready to get back to what I love. I sometimes look back on those years I stayed home with the three little Wohlferts and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything but as a teacher I get to witness so many great parents in action and I realize I could have really benefited from their example in my own parenting.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus is separating the sheep, the obedient loving followers, from the rebellious, stiff-necked, defiant goats. Now, anybody who reads this scripture want to be a sheep for sure! In fact, most of our journey to Christ centers on being more “sheeplike” so we wind up at his right hand.
This parable came to mind last week during Open House when I visited with a really great mom. I’ve had the privilege of teaching a few of her children and they are completely cool kids; knowing the parents explains it all. They are a faithful, prayerful, loving family of 10. The mom will admit they try really hard to get it right but sometimes it all goes a little crazy. Mornings can be the craziest time of day with clothes, breakfast, lunches and the bus that always sees to show up a wee bit before everyone is ready. She said she had to come up with a quick, direct and attention-grabbing way to hammer home a message about how to live the day! She wouldn't tell me her secret but wanted to see if her children would repeat the message, so I had to wait a few days but I finally got the answer.
[Tweet "Parents, teach your kids to be disciples in 4 simple words: Don't be a goat!"]
I always ask my students how their parents help form their discipleship, and the son of the mom I mentioned had an awesome reply. He told us that when he and his siblings leave the house, his mom yells to them, “Have a good day and DON’T BE A GOAT!” Four simple words…don’t be a goat! How’s that for a living-color example for life! I asked the young man what he thought his mom meant, and he smiled and said, “thats her way of saying veer toward God’s right hand and make sure you don’t do stuff you’ll be judged negatively for and then get sent to the left because it’s kind of hard to get from the left back to the right. It’s just easier to stay to the right and not be a goat.”
A Seed To Plant: Make yourself a little sign that says Don’t Be A Goat! Then take some prayerful time to identify the places in your life you act a little more like a goat than a sheep.
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2016 Sheri Wohlfert
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.