Previously published on Believersbay.com
There is just something special growing up in the Midwest of the United States. Is it all the tornado action you might ask? Well, yes that can be an added plus if you don’t mind running to the outside cellar in your nightgown through the pouring rain once a week in the springtime. For me that would not qualify as something special. There are a lot of natural occurrences that seem to be noticed more in the Midwest than perhaps than other areas and I’m not talking about collisions between hot and cold fronts. I’m referring to migration.
Where I grew up it was a regular occasion- fall and spring as I recall – that we would see flocks of birds on the migration north or their migration south. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. Sometimes we could be eating dinner and my mom would stop eating, set her fork down, and say, “Do ya hear them? It’s the geese!” And immediately without hesitation all of us would jump up and dash outside to see them. You could hear them first before you could see them. Off in the distance, “honk honk honk” the Canadian geese would exclaim as if to announce they are on some kind of journey. Journey that is for sure. Some have to travel more than 3,000 miles in a single migration. Whew! My wings would get dog – tired!
No matter what we were doing succinctly everyone I knew, family, friends, neighbors who just stopped by to say “hello”, we would all stop at the first goose honk we heard. And then looked in wonderment towards the sky to see the v formation of those passing over our heads. Now that I think about that was
the only time in my life when I wasn’t afraid of falling geese doodoo. Being more adult like and problematic I would probably limit my nature experience to “Watchout Bombs away!” mentality and not so much wonderment.
Listening to them come was almost as exciting as finding the v formation in the sunset sky. Always the v. Who taught these birds this letter of the alphabet. Their creator of course.
Just recently I learned something I had not known my whole life of watching migrating birds. I had always assumed the point of the v, the leading goose, was just like a leader of the pack. The Big Cheese, the president of that Goose Nation, etc. I did not know until today that the point Goose of the v was not only the forefront leader but his task was even more heavily laden. You see the lead bird is there to take on the wind resistance so that the others may sail more easily and have to exude less energy. Increasing the flight range for all geese in that bird community, weak geese or strong geese, all could go the same distance. The head goose is decreasing wind resistance by his leading presence. Fascinating isn’t it? By using the v formation these birds can go 70% further than a single bird alone. I love that bit. 70% further. ( http://lenwilson.us/5-thing-geese-can-teach-us-about-teamwork/ or try https://theleadership.wordpress.com/2006/06/10/synergy-why-do-geese-fly-in-a-v-formation/ for information on the web)
I was saved when I was 5 years old and I have always known that besides God being your heavenly father that he alone should be your guide and leader. What I didn’t realize until today after my little geese lesson is that in most ways his help in my life is very much the same as the head goose. God continually cuts through resistance to make my journey easier. Whether I am weak or strong, I get further only by following him. Physically, emotionally, and mentally.
He already knew the logistics of migration letter v technology. God made geese know instinctively in those little goose brains something as scientific and physically complicated as wind velocity, altitude contradictions, and energy performance. Not only does God show you the way to go but he cuts
through unseen forces to get us wherever we need to go. Whether your life is flying south for the winter or north for the summer, thank God for being our heavenly head Goose.
I look back at this story as I write it and I think about the simplistic message I’m sharing but what I also want to share personally with you is the opposite side of the coin. Think about it. Not all birds fly in a v formation when migrating . . . You’ll see stragglers and some species of birds are not v flyers like geese and ducks. I can confess to you I have been a straggler and not kept up with the right v group. I have had times where I did not follow my leader and those are the times that it was hardest to fly high and to keep going for very long at all.
I don’t live in the Midwest currently but deep inside my heart God has given me the memories of such sights and wonders of nature to remind me how everything really works. No matter what follow his lead and he will take you where you need to go. Of course without any honking.
John 10:4 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6 – NIV)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle” (Psalm 32:8,9)