There is Door Number 3, the door where I don’t go to jail.
Door Number 1 goes into Strife City, and the path leading there is Stupid Street. Someone says something idiotic and offensive and devoid of all logic, reason, and wisdom, and I act accordingly. That is, I decide I am going to set them straight. This is idiotic and devoid of all logic, reason and wisdom, and I end up even more offended than when I started.
“Don’t butt heads with a butthead, Bev,” I admonish myself and promise never to do so again. I know! I shall (once again, even though it’s never worked before) try Door Number 2.
Door Number 2 is the High Road, where I pay them no mind whatsoever. At first. But I keep thinking about what they said, and vainly imagine (the Bible says to cast down “vain imaginations”) what I coulda, shoulda, woulda said. I stew, and simmer, and stew, and simmer.
And then I murmur, and maybe gripe a little about it to someone else. Then comes the fun had by all: the rant.
Which leads me to, finally, mature spiritual genius that I am, Door Number 3. I think I know the way, and what to expect, based on past (admittedly rather limited) time spent here. I take the path marked “Forgiveness” and follow it to “Pray for them” and finally bask at a high place: Mount Victory.
But, lo, what is this heretofore unnoticed path? And what do I see here in this high spot but a Granite-Skulled Mountain Goat? I look to the left and to the right and there are others. I turn around, hoping to go back the way I came. Another goat.
I’m surrounded. I did the tried and true. The Formula! I forgave and prayed for any and all buttheads in my life – past, present and future. And what did I get? Another version of the same animal.
I look to Heaven. That’s the joy of Heaven! No buttheads allowed! Sheep, not goats!
I look around me again, hoping the goats will go away. Instead, one is moving toward me, a little one, making tiny “maaaaa” sounds. I can’t help but reach out my hand toward it, and suddenly it becomes a sheep, a little lamb. I look at its anxious mother, and she too, is morphing into a fluffy sheep, fretfully following and nudging her baby away from me.
I squat and gather grasses into my hand, reaching and gently calling. “It’s OK. Here you go,” I whisper. I turn toward the fretting mother and reach to her. She sniffs and gently nibbles the grasses in my hand, then backs up and lets her little one approach.
And I hear our Maker’s voice on the mountain breezes: If you think in butthead, you will see in butthead. Don’t be a granite-skulled goat. Be my sheep and feed my sheep. And I felt His hand stroking my fleecy head, and maybe even scratching behind my ears.
The mama sheep and her baby stand before me, at attention. I feed them more grasses, pat and stroke their heads, make lovey noises at them, and even scratch behind their ears.
The goats watch to see if such treatment is only for sheep.