Becoming a useful goat in God’s pasture

By DARRYL WOOD / Guest Columnist

Listen up, all you goat farmers, have I got a deal for you! At this time of year, most of us start to think about mowing the lawn. Cheryl and Ron Searcy of Mills River, N.C., run a herd of 300 goats, known as “mowers on hooves.”

The Searcys stumbled on the idea of renting their goats to clear overgrown land. They will set up temporary fencing where you choose and turn the goats loose. Briars, kudzu and other underbrush disappear. Mowing goats bring about $500 per acre.

With 10 goats to an acre, they can clear the land in three to four weeks.

Just think, you can trade in your bush hog for a bush goat. No more worries about breakdowns or gas for the tractor. Goats even leave some natural fertilizer behind. And you thought goats were ugly, cantankerous creatures.

Even Jesus attached a negative connotation to goats. He said God separates “the sheep from the goats” in the judgment. (Matthew 25:32) Sheep brought more money. People associated them with innocence and righteousness. Goats, on the other hand, symbolized evil and troublesomeness. But just as the Searcys found value in their goats, Jesus never gave up on the old goats among us either. Remember how He brought tax collectors, Matthew and Zacchaeus, around to His way of living?

He forgave an adulterous woman. Jesus renewed Peter after his denials.

And He promised the criminal on the cross entry into paradise. Do you occasionally fit into the old goat category — evil and troublesome? The Lord, nevertheless, sees value in you. With His help, you can still be a useful old goat.

Give Him a chance to put you to work in His pasture.

Darryl Wood is pastor of First Baptist Church of Vincent. You can reach him at 672-2512 or by email at

Editor’s note: The Reporter is always looking for new pastors interested in writing a monthly column focused on helping readers enrich their spiritual lives. For more information, email Jan Griffey at