Carol Off and Jeff Douglas with CBC Radio report:
Every year, a giant straw Christmas goat appears in the town square in Gävle, Sweden. And almost every year, someone sets it on fire.
… On Sunday night, the goat was set alight only hours after the town held its official welcome party.
This year it wasn't supposed to happen.
Authorities in the town had installed security cameras around the beloved goat. Two guards were hired to watch the giant straw animal.
"One of the guards went to the toilet," says Gävle goat spokesperson, Marie Wallberg. "Then the perpetrator took advantage of this opportunity."
The Gävle goat has been installed in the town centre for 50 years, and has been burned down 35 times.
"Every year we hope that he is going to stay with us," says Wallberg. "Sadly, he often turns to fire."
… Meanwhile, there is a campaign to raise money to build another Gävle goat before Christmas.
A big part of the problem here is that the folks at Gävle insist on constructing their giant Christmas goat out of straw. You would think that after having it lit on fire and burned to the ground 35 times, they would have made an adjustment by now.
This begs the question, have you allowed yourself to be burned again and again? What vulnerabilities do you continue to leave out there, despite the pain it has caused you again and again?
This is what happens when we allow the opinions and actions of people to mean too much to us. Like dry straw, our self esteem is left to the destructive whims of others.
Don’t allow disrespect or mistreatment by others to send you up in smoke. Fortify yourself by placing more importance on what God thinks of you.
God sent His Son into this world because He loves you and values you above all else.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" (Romans 8:35).
"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God" (Ephesians 3:19, NLT).