Thursday, November 30, 2006

Get Your Goat

Radio Script for November 30, 2006

Get Your Goat”

Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Get your goat”?

No one seems to know exactly where it came from, or if it might actually be “get your goad,” but either way it means the same thing. If someone “gets your goat” it means they got to you. They got through your defenses and upset you.

So the question is, what does it take to get your goat?

If you have a short fuse, you’re easy. Anybody can get your goat. Your personal peace is paper thin, and the first drop of rain spoils it.

Maybe you pride yourself on being stable and rational. But you know how it goes. Along comes someone who will not give up. They keep pushing buttons until they find the right ones.

What is the sign that someone has “got your goat?” When you overreact. Your reaction is not calm and measured, but it suddenly bursts forth in an irrational display of emotion.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is in the news this week because someone got his goat. His team played poorly, and as they walked off the field a fan yelled something offensive to Michael Vick. That was it. He had had enough. He flashed the single digit sign language for “you got my goat.” And the league fined him $10,000.

Sure he was frustrated. Sure the fan was offensive. But Vick reacted as if he and the fan was all there was. Obviously the league didn’t see it that way. There is a much larger picture that Vick ignored, and it cost him 10 grand.

Usually when someone gets our goat and we overreact, it’s because we are not seeing the big picture. If we saw the big picture, we would react differently.

In driver’s ed we were taught not to swerve for small animals. “Why not? We don’t want to murder the cute little bunny.” Because you and the bunny is not all there is. The bigger picture shows the wreck you might have if you jerk the wheel.

Another lesson from driver’s ed. We were taught to look further down the road in order to keep the car steady. If you only look at the road directly in front of you, you will constantly turn the wheel, reacting to every little thing.

The same is true in life. To be steady and stable, we need to look further down the road.

When Paul wrote the book of Ephesians, he said he was “a prisoner for the Lord.” He could have focused on the walls of his confinement. It could have gotten his goat. I mean, how unfair is it to be in prison for serving God and loving people?

But he looked beyond the walls and saw the bigger picture. He wrote things like, “…how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” He wrote, to God be the glory “…throughout all generations, forever and ever!”

Talk about seeing the big picture! Paul saw beyond the walls, beyond his own life, out through all the coming generations. And it brought him incredible peace and stability, in spite of all the people trying to get his goat.

Michael Vick was “had” as soon as he focused on that fan and got caught up in the flurry of the moment.

The same happens to us at school, at work, at home. Our peace is lost when we let someone get to us. We focus on them, when we need to look beyond them, to the bigger picture.

What is the bigger picture? The bigger picture is beyond our little situation, beyond whatever we are struggling with. The bigger picture goes beyond our little lives to the grand, eternal scheme of things under the control of the Lord God Almighty.

HE is the big picture. HE is our motivation. HE is our focus in life. Paul writes that we can be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” *

I don’t know about you, but I want that. I want to be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Then I know that I will be stable and strong in all circumstances. I will see past the flurry of the moment. And I’ll know that no matter who comes along, and no matter how many buttons they push, they will not be able to “get my goat.”


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May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.

* Ephesians 4:19

© 2006 Darling Child al Fine
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