“You haven’t got the sense God gave a Goose!” Nearly every time I made a mistake growing up, that’s what I heard. So, I started watching geese. I soon realized two things; I LOVE watching GEESE and geese aren’t stupid! I’ve spent many hours watching geese, and I’ve read a great deal about why they do what they do. As a Pastor and Army Chaplain I’ve learned some valuable “Goose Sense” lessons. I want to share some lessons and how they relate to our lives as believers in Jesus Christ.
GOOSE FACT # 1: As each Goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” or “updraft” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, it’s estimated that the entire flock is able to fly 70% farther than if each bird flew alone. A few years ago, as Cheri and I were driving from Maryland to Missouri, we watched hundreds of thousands of Geese in flight! The estimate was 750,000 to 900,000 geese! The sky was literally darkened in mid-day with massive formations of Geese for over ten miles as we drove! It was one of the most AWESOME sights we’ve ever witnessed! WOW! (Lemme say that backwards – WOW!)
GOOSE SENSE LESSON # 1: Christian believers share a sense of community and a common bond through Jesus Christ. With a VISION from God, we are able to reach God’s goals for us much more easily when we “LIFT” one another up and travel on the thrust of our fellowship. “But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for what we believe. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” (The Bible, 1 Timothy 6:11-12, New Living Testament). Good goose sense means people doing good things for other people.
GOOSE FACT # 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the rest of the flock and avoid the wind blast from all the other flapping geese. Remember the scene in the movie “Top Gun” when Maverick and Goose (ironic, huh) got caught in their wing man’s “jet wash” and ended up crashing in the sea? It’s the same concept with geese.
GOOSE SENSE LESSON # 2: There’s a lot more “drag and resistance” from the world when we try to FLY alone! We should be willing to let others HELP “carry our load” – and we should be willing to HELP other folks carry theirs! Learn to do “Random Acts of Kindness” for others. Help an elderly lady put her groceries in the car. Rake your neighbor’s leaves. Take dinner to someone who is ill. Offer to baby-sit a young couple’s children so they can have a night out. Give a restaurant gift certificate to your pastor and his wife. Our oldest daughter just had twins in ND and we were preparing to ride out from MO on our motorcycle when a couple from our church called and said they wanted to buy us Airline tickets so we could get there sooner. I planned to say “no” because I was looking forward to the ride, and then he dropped the “B” word on me. He said, “It would be such a tremendous BLESSING to us if you would allow us to do this!” I had to accept then, because I learned a long time ago that “Being a blessing to someone else brings a Blessing to us.” Good goose sense means spending good, quality time with other believers. Share Jesus with those you love so your family members and closest friends will be other believers.
GOOSE FACT # 3: When the lead goose tuckers out, it rotates back into the formation and another goose immediately flies to the point position. All of the geese, except for the sick ones, take their turn at the head of the formation. There is no fuss, no debate, no arguing, they just do it! It’s part of being a goose!
GOOSE SENSE LESSON # 3: The ministry of the Church does NOT belong to the paid pastors. It’s NOT just for the Deacons and Elders. Every believer must share in the ministries of the church. It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and it’s good to share leadership responsibilities. Just as with geese, we are interdependent on each other’s gifts and talents. Besides, when our constant goal is for Jesus Christ to receive the credit, praise, honor, and glory – it doesn’t matter WHO does the actual WORK! See Colossians 3:23-24. Every believer is a follower – a follower of Jesus Christ and His under-shepherds in the flock. But every believer is ALSO a leader – based on your spiritual gifts and talents, and it is imperative that you use those gifts and talents to do good things for the kingdom of God. Good goose sense means believers doing good things for the kingdom of God and other kingdom pilgrims.
GOOSE FACT # 4: All the geese flying in formation “HONK” to encourage the geese up front to “keep on keepin’ on” for the goal!
GOOSE SENSE LESSON # 4: I IMPLORE you to make sure ALL your “HONKING” is ENCOURAGING in nature! For HEAVEN’S SAKE – for the KINGDOM’S SAKE – EVERY time you speak TO or ABOUT anyone else – make sure you ONLY say something GOOD, “UPLIFTING,” LOVING, and ENCOURAGING! There is no room in the kingdom of god and no room in the Christian’s life for gossip, slander, negativism, “nay-saying,” backbiting, and tearing one another down! “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” The HONKINGS of GROWING Congregations are encouraging and “uplifting”! GROWING congregations are JOYFULLY HAPPY congregations! Our individual and collective missions are to “be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son.” (Romans 8:29). Let’s be “UPLIFTING” HONKERS to one another for Jesus’ sake! Let’s say GOOD GOOSE SENSE things TO one another. Let’s say GOOD GOOSE SENSE things ABOUT one another. Good goose sense means encouraging one another to “keep on keepin’ on” for the goal of the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ!
GOOSE FACT # 5: When a goose gets sick and can’t go on, two other geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up to their flock.
GOOSE SENSE LESSON # 5: I’m GLAD God gave believers “Goose Sense!” His word teaches us to stand by one another, in difficult times as well as in good times. He teaches us to pick one another up when we fall. When relationships fail, when children rebel, when careers crumble, when bad things happen to good people, when folks die too soon, when trouble comes (and it eventually comes to us all), God’s Word has a word for believers. Galatians 6:2 says “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Verse 9-10 remind us “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Good goose sense means standing together in good times and bad times, standing up for one another, and standing up for the less fortunate.
GOOSE FACT #6: A pair of geese will find one another and mate for life. They live and travel and make babies together until one of them dies. Then the other goose will find another mate, and again mate for life.
GOOD GOOSE SENSE LESSON # 6 Monogamous relationships just plain make GOOD GOOSE SENSE! In the first place, that’s the way God planned it! (See Genesis 2-3). In the second place, it prevents a whole plethora of problems, including divorce, sexual sin, broken and blended families, financial burdens, child behavioral problems, and so on. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these things don’t exist in monogamous relationships as well, but statistics show they are more prevalent when people have had multiple relationships. (And my 34 years of ministry has taught me that “the grass is NOT greener on the other side of the fence!) It’s very pleasing to see the growing number of young people in our society deciding to remain abstinent and celibate until marriage – that is certainly a step in the right direction since my generation (being a teenager in the late 60’s and early 70’s during the height of the “sexual revolution.”) if you or your young teens are interested, go to True Love Waits on the internet. Good goose sense means waiting for the person you know God has intended for you to spend the rest of your life with, and then spending the rest of your life with that person!
In a nutshell, what does GOOD GOOSE SENSE LESSONS have to say to believers?
Love one another. Pray for one another. Encourage one another. Stand by one another. Lift one another up. Help one another up and out. Stand up with and for one another. Stay the course. Love one another. (I know, I said that one already, but it needs saying twice, doesn’t it?)
I pray all believers will hear and practice the lessons from the geese. Do you have the sense God gave a goose? You do if you do GOOD GOOSE SENSE things TO one another. You do if you do GOOD GOOSE SENSE things FOR one another. Use your GOOD GOOSE SENSE – you’ll be glad you did!
Danny Presswood, 2006, All rights Reserved.