Monday, February 22, 2010

On Learning From a Goose

Canadian Geese regularly visit our backyard. The reason for this is that our property backs up to a pond. We put a lot of birdseed in feeders and on the ground. We have squirrels, Muscovy ducks, and all kinds of song birds. These all stuff themselves as if in a race to see who can get the fattest. It is everyone for himself.

Not so with the Canadian Geese. They come into our yard in pairs. They eat the same way every time. One eats while the other stands and keeps guard. The one who is eating has nothing to worry about because the other is constantly looking around for possible threats. When the first one concludes eating, the other feeds. The full one then takes its turn standing guard.

Simply put, the Canadian Geese act as a team. They take care of their own needs and the needs of the other. Unlike the other animals, they don't focus only on self.

This could be a bit of a reach, but I think we could learn a great deal from these geese. Far too often we Christians focus on our own needs before the needs of others. This happens both inside and outside the church gathering. We are often only happy if we like all that is happening.

Wouldn't the church function much better if we acted like Canadian Geese? It would be wonderful if we all focused on the needs of others along with our own. Even better, what if we looked out for the needs of others before our own? What if we focused on looking out for and keeping watch over others? This would cause the church to be a truly united group of people living like the Lord Jesus wants us to.

I think Paul had something to say about this. Philippians 2:3-4 says, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."


Anonymous said...

Okay, so let's be more like the geese, just don't expect me to fly in a V formation.

Eric said...

Just walk in a V formation.

Scott Reeder said...

Old Illustration I used once from Dr. Jeremiah

When geese migrate, they can be seen flying in a V-shaped formation. To us on the ground, it is a thing of beauty; but to the geese it is essential for survival. If you watch them, you will observe that at certain intervals relative to the strength of the wind, the lead bird who is doing the most work by breaking the force of the wind against him will drop off and fly at the end of the formation. It’s been discovered that the flapping wings create an uplift of air, and the effect is greater at the rear of the formation. So the geese take turns uplifting one another. By cooperating and working together, the geese achieve long migrations that otherwise would be exceedingly difficult for even the strongest. It is in a similar manner that God has called us as His people. As believers in Christ, we are to lift one another up through prayer. We are to share material means and heart to heart friendship in caring. And we can go further into godliness than we ever would be able to if we attempt our pilgrimage all alone.

Eric said...


Well said. When the church carries out the one anothers, it is a beautiful thing to behold.