Set In Our Ways

February 20, 2003
by David Leggatt

Exodus 33:13 – Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. (NKJV)

Each fall, I love to watch the Canada geese as they prepare to migrate south. So many things they do make me think of people, especially Christians.

Geese fly in a V formation so that the birds behind can fly more easily in the draft of the bird in front, which is breaking the wind resistance. We humans often tend to follow the leader because it is easier. But, like the geese, Christians will also take the place of the leader when their turn comes. We can see the advantage in using our Christian gifts to help others in their travels through this life.

Canada geese have a tendency to mate for life, which we as Christians are supposed to do. If a goose is injured, its mate will leave the flock and sit with the injured goose until it dies, or until it is healthy enough to rejoin the others. Don't most of us, when a mate is hurt or dying, stay with them until God heals them or takes them home to be with Him? Only after a goose has lost a mate will that goose search for another mate.

We have a small pond near our house, and I love to watch the geese coming in to land on the water. Once they have committed themselves to land, they set their wings and lower their feet, preparing to glide into the water. Very seldom will a goose change from that committed landing pattern. Aren't we humans much the same? We are often stubborn, and once we are set on a course there is almost nothing which will change our pattern. Often it is only the drastic event that will change us from our set ways. When the pond froze over, I saw some geese set their wings to land, not knowing that the water was now not there to settle into. It wasn't until the first few geese had landed and skidded across the ice, often falling over, that the rest of them realized something was wrong, and they changed the set of their wings and stopped their attempt to land.

Those geese which had landed on the ice also reminded me of how hard life seems to be sometimes. Geese need a fair bit of water to get airborne, and these geese were having a great deal of trouble getting up enough momentum, on the slippery ice, to reach a takeoff velocity. Don't we sometimes have something in our minds that we want to do, and find that we have great difficulty in accomplishing it? It is only, if we admit it, with God's help that we are able to accomplish many things in our lives.

Even though the geese are now long gone from this area on their migration south, we can still picture them and learn valuable lessons about our relationship with God from them.

Prayer: Lord, we are thankful that, even though we think we are superior to all the other creatures in Your creation, we can still learn from them. Help us to look at Your creation, appreciate it, and learn from it. Amen.

About the author:

David Leggatt <leggattd@gmail.com>
Wiarton, Ontario, Canada

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