We have several friends who have animals. We decided to call Mr. Roy to see if we could go pet some of his. I've petted goats and cows when I was little, but it's been a long time (more than 20 years). I am not sure about donkeys. I'm not sure if Joel has petted any of these or not. So, I asked Joel about doing this as a "first." Joel said, "Sure." Mr. Roy was waiting for us when we got to his house. He and Nana Faye are super nice people.
The goats were first to try to pet because they were the easiest. The cows and donkeys were apt to be more skittish. We went to the goat pen and the first goat was more than happy to be petted. This goat just hung out with us and seemed right at home with both Joel and me. His hair was much more coarse than ours is. It kind of made me wonder about the verse from the romantic Song of Solomon in the Bible that says, "Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead" (chapter 4 and verse 1). There must be something there that does not translate across the years. I'm going to wait until I tell Laura her new hairdo looks like a bunch of goats.
The other goats were a bit more reticent. They were obviously not as comfortable with us as the other goat was. Mr. Roy asked if Joel wanted to pet a smaller one and Joel said sure. Mr. Roy has a way of coaxing the smaller ones right up to us.
The donkeys were not interested in being petted. The cows were pretty OK with us as long as we were not too close. We had to settle for petting goats. Afterwards, Mr. Roy took us riding through the woods. Nana Faye let Joel gather some eggs. That was a "first" for Joel. Joel and I spend a great afternoon outdoors thanks to Mr. Roy and Nana Faye.
This one was cool with being petted
The little ones were a bit more reticent
Mr. Roy has a way with goats
The donkey was not interested in being petted
The cows were a bit stand-offish
Mr. Roy will drive the 4-wheeler (gator) right up to a 1 ton bull; not that we were nervous or chicken or anything
These are the chickens
The cows and donkeys were not too cool with Joel and I petting them. I do believe that would have let Mr. Roy if we were not around. They are not used to us. They are used to Mr. Roy because they see him about everyday plus he gives them food.
We are not as nervous around some things if we are around them a lot. One of the things that helped me get more comfortable talking about Jesus was when I started speaking and teaching about Him. This was before I was a pastor. This was when I was in college and was asked to speak at some college Bible studies and teach 5th grade Sunday School at my church. Teaching 5th grade boys in Sunday School will give you courage to do a lot of things and scare you out of a bunch more things. The more I spoke about Jesus, the more willing and comfortable I was in doing that. I still got nervous (due mostly to my shy and introspective personality) each time, but it was more manageable. The same thing is true with praying out loud, sharing my testimony, serving people in Jesus' name, and other similar things. If you are never around something, you are understandably nervous. Jesus is too important to stay nervous about all your life. One of the best things I've done is to just consistently put myself in places where I'm around Jesus kinds of things and to volunteer for Jesus kinds of things. Maybe telling your pastor you'll be happy to pray out loud, telling your Bible Study teacher you'll be glad to fill in for him/her when they would like a day off, or just making a commitment to say something about Jesus to someone every day or every week. Don't be a stranger to Jesus and His works.
Wanting to hang out in the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today