The "Goat Man" and Christian Living
“He’s been spotted out in the dusty wilds of Utah, lurking among the four-hoofed creatures on his hands and knees. He wears a funny suit with horns and a phony beard. And he’s developing a public following.
He is… Goatman. And he’s baaaaaaaad...” says John Glionna.
Over the past several of months there have been several sightings by hikers of the “goat man” 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. The main sighting was from 33-year-old hiker Coty Creighton who saw a herd of goats about 200 yards away, and thought one of them looked a little weird. “I thought maybe it was injured,” he said.
Coty told the AP press that after looking through his binoculars he saw something very odd: “a man with fake horns and a cloth mask with eye holes, traipsing around in four-legged ruminants.
“I thought, ‘What is this guy doing?’ ” Creighton said. “He was actually on his hands and knees. He was climbing over rocks and bushes and pretty rough terrain on a steep hillside.” Creighton said the man pulled up his mask once in a while to check where he was going. Then, he spotted Creighton, staring at him from afar. “He just stopped in his tracks and froze,” he said. Creighton retreated behind a tree and started taking photos while goat man pulled his mask back on and scrambled to catch up with the other goats. “We were the only ones around for miles,” Creighton said. “It was real creepy.”
Not only was this creepy but it’s also unsafe. Officials said he’s not only in danger of being mistaken for prey by a hunter—he might have been attacked by one of his fellow goats “They may be agitated. They’re very territorial. They are, after all, wild animals.”
In some ways this crazy man reminds me of something Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When you and I say “yes” to Jesus we are new people with a new identity. We are no longer goats. (Matthew 25:31-46). We are instead new creations in the here and now. And so, the calling of the Christian life is to become what you already are. You already are a new creation, we already are adapted in to God’s loving family, you already live in the kingdom—now go live like it.
Become what you already are.
But this is hard. I wonder how often God looks down from heaven and sees Brandon acting like the Goat Man. The truth is
Sometimes I put on the goat costume of the world.
Sometimes I walk around on all fours, trying to be like other goats.
Sometimes I crave the acceptance and affirmation of the goat pack.
Sometimes I ignore my true identity and pretend to be something I’m not.
This is madness. This is baaaaaaad. God created and redeemed me to live for so much more. Living the goat life is foolish and dangerous. Living the new creation life is liberating and life-giving. And so for myself and for all of us God’s challenge is this--don’t try to be something you’re not.
Today, become what you already are.