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Lately, I’ve been hearing God in ways that require me to do some extra research. Today was just another one of those days. As I waited in the drive up for my morning coffee, my son pointed out a massive number of geese flying overhead. This is what Webster would define as a gaggle. As I headed off down the road to deliver my children to school, I heard a small voice say, “You need to be like those geese.”

What? Did I hear God right? I need to be like a goose?

What did that even mean? When I arrived at work, I decided I needed to do a little research. And like always, God amazed me. We can definitely learn a lot from geese:

  • Geese fly in V formation, and researchers have learned that as each bird flaps their wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately behind it. This formation allows the birds at least 71% greater flying range than if a single goose were to fly on its own. The Biblical Parallel can be found in Acts 2:44 &47, “And all those who believed were together and had all things in common…and the Lord added daily to their members, those who were being saved.” If we share a common direction and have a sense of community, we can get to where we are going quicker and easier because we are working together and encouraging each other.
  • Geese share the work load. When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates to the back and another goose will take the point position. The Biblical Parallel is found in Ephesians 4:16 “…the whole body being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies according to the working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body…”
  • Geese really enjoy honking. But what does it mean? The geese behind the leader will honk to encourage the leader to fly onward and to keep up their speed. The Biblical Parallel here is Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another, day after day…”
  • Geese look out for one another. When the flock is ready to eat, a few sentinels are appointed as lookouts for predators while the others eat. This duty is rotated until all are fed or rested. If a member of the group is sick or wounded, two geese will fall out of formation with him until he is able to fly again or dies. The Biblical Parallel here is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.“ We can learn a lot from geese! We should care for those that are down and out. Our natural impulses are to turn away from those that are having problems, but geese teach us that every member of the flock is important.       

I am always amazed at the ways God shows up and draws me closer to Him. I was reminded today as I join a community of other men and women to journey to Uganda, that we are going to be our own “gaggle.”

We will lead each other onward, rotate the load of work, encourage each other, protect each other through prayer, and lift each other up. God has not called us to go at life alone. He has called us into community with one another, and by being united with the common goal of spreading the gospel and His light, we will see many lives brought to Christ. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that He has chosen myself and the rest of the team as his messengers.

Dawn Van Haaften