GEESE…fly south for the winter, primarily for food and from the harsh Canadian and northern climates. It begins in the Fall when food supplies start diminishing. Yankees also fly south! They call themselves ‘snow birds’. Texas is home to thousands each year.
Geese are a lot like humans. They are very relational. A typical lifespan is 25 years. Most of the day they spend foraging for food. They love golf courses, manicured lawns and playgrounds. At Bent Tree Country Club, the grounds crew has a sheep dog whose primary purpose is chasing the geese away. It works! Why? Because of the damage they can quickly do to the fairways and greens if they are allowed to linger. Then there is the problem created when they eat a lot…well, you know!
Geese fly in a “V” formation. It’s so beautiful. The flapping of wings of one goose creates an uplift for the goose immediately following. Flying in V formation adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each goose flew alone. When the goose in front gets tired, another goose takes over the front position. Geese will honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Sounds like a day in New York City traffic!
Geese have strong affections for others in their group. If a goose gets sick or is wounded, a couple of other geese may drop out of formation to help and protect him. They will often stay with the disabled goose until he dies or is able to fly again. They will then either fly together or join another formation to catch up with their group. Geese choose mates when they are about three years old and are monogamous for life, raising new families together each year. When one mate dies, the other mate will sometimes wait several years before choosing a new partner or may even stay single. Makes you wonder why geese get it, and we don’t seem to.
Geese have a very strong instinct to return to their general area of birth to mate and nest. They will either return to the exact site or to a nearby pond or another body of water. Some will even fly 2,000-3,000 miles to return to these sites. Simply, most geese are migratory. And so are we! This earth is just not our permanent home. As the hymn says; ‘we’re just a passing through’.
As believers, we have a strong desire to return to the ‘garden’ where our Lord dwells. To receive eternal food for our soul! And that ‘food’ is Jesus. We are migratory beings, never really at home here, looking for something better, more permanent, super-fulfilling. Abraham started it all through his calling and obedience to it.
Aren’t we all somewhat like him; maybe just a little restless, seeking a new adventure, looking for what seems to be missing deep down inside? Something that draws us to another experience or place, like the migratory geese headed south. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Are you just way too comfortable and unmotivated? God knows you. Sometimes He has to push us out of our nests, like the goose does to her gosling. Baby, it’s time to fly!!
Frankly, it’s all about faith. The geese have to follow their instincts and believe there is something better ‘down south’. Hebrews 11 clearly lays it out for us. Abraham, our father in the faith“obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country…for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (vss. 8-10).
All the patriarchs of the faith, as recorded in Hebrews and millions since then, even today, lived and died by faith. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (vss. 13-16).
Geese were made to fly. We were made to venture out, to find what will fill the empty vacuum in our hearts. It is Jesus. He is whom we are seeking. And we can only find Him when we move out of our comfort zones, serving the lost and needy. For He is there! That’s why He migrated from heaven to earth to ‘find and save’ you and me! He is now seeking others through us.
Spread your wings and soar!