Posted in Family, fear, life, Scripture, thankful, wisdom

Goose-Land, Part 2 “I Quit”

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:14

“I Quit.”  I could almost hear the words coming from his beak. Yesterday was “walk in the park day” and the ducks and geese were doing their thing.  If you haven’t made a trip to the park to just watch the geese and ducks you really should.  It is so interesting to see how they interact with one another.  There are a couple of stories at gritswithgrace.com if you would like to go back and read them.

Yesterday I was in lap two of three and I saw something that really caught my attention and captured my heart.  You probably know that geese like to hang together.  They will be “gaggling” together and suddenly, it is as if someone, the gaggle leader will give a nod or a honk and everyone will burst into flight.  They rise from the ground or the water as one, like a flight of aircraft from a military flight.  They quickly take formation and off they go into the wild blue yonder.

As I was walking across the stone bridge at the park the order was given and about seven geese took off.  I was pretty close and it was pretty impressive.  With a flush of honking and flapping, they rose into the sky as one.  Goose One, the flight leader carefully led the group over the bridge and down to the far end of the pond.  They took off as one and they flew as one all except…one.

As they flew by at full power I happened to notice one of the group still on the ground.  He was a young adult goose but definitely old enough to take to the air.  His body was well groomed, every feather in place.  From where I stood he looked like he could…he should be airworthy.  But as his friends took flight…he took a look around.  There they went and there he sat.  It was what happened next that was so unusual.  He suddenly started to run.  Paralleling the edge of the pond he started running as fast as his little legs would carry him.  It seemed he was sayings, “Hey guys, wait for me.”

He ran for about fifteen yards and then he stopped and went down the bank into the water, paddling furiously, heading for where he thought his friends and family had gone.  The last time I saw him he was still paddling away shouting, “Hey, wait for me.”  After getting over the amusement of watching him waddle and paddle, my heart was captured.  I found myself asking the obvious question, “Why?”

Why waddle when you can soar?  Why paddle when you can fly?  Why get left behind when you could be in the middle of the party?  I am not an expert in goose anatomy but he had all the equipment to fly and all the equipment seemed to be working. I really don’t know, but it seemed I heard him muttering as he waddled with all his might.  Although I’m not fluent in goose, it seemed he was saying, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.”  And then, right before he went into the water he said, “I quit.”  How sad.

He was made to fly.  He was made to soar, but he chose, he settled, for waddling and paddling.  He chose for second best.  You see, you can be the best waddler in the world and that is fine…unless you were made to soar.  The view from the ground is never as magnificent as the view from the sky.  If his equipment was broken, if it was just a matter of a few more flight lessons well, that would be a different story.  But what if it was just a matter of not believing—in himself and the One who made him?

If you look around, and maybe as close as the bathroom mirror, you might see someone who stopping believing.  You might see someone who has tried and failed enough that they no longer believe anything is possible.  You might see someone who stopped believing that God makes masterpieces and started believing that God made a mess.  Well, let me tell you something.  God doesn’t make junk and He doesn’t make messes. The Psalmist said it right, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Fearfully and wonderfully made.  That is you and that is me.  If you find yourself on the shore, waddling when you designed to soar…start believing again.  Start believing in you, start believing in Him and start believing that with Him…all things are possible.  Don’t let the circumstances around you right now—the division, the virus, the uncertainty keep you on the ground.  You were made to fly, to soar!  Why not crawl up into the lap of your Dearest Father, rest in Him and just believe?  Believe the truth…that He’s got this.

Posted in Family, Scripture

Larry, Barry, Harry, Terry, Ralph and Bubba

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted.” (1 Corinthians 12:17-18)

Ok, I was just so confused that I needed to tell someone.  I know you must think I am goose crazy but yesterday morning was so weird in goose-land at the park or better, maybe it was something beautiful.  So, let’s just say the geese were very prolific this year.  There are lots, and I mean lots, of baby geese.  There are two kinds of geese in the park.  Almost all of them are the standard, brownish geese.  Then there are also four or five white snow geese.  Now trust me on this.  In the past the snow geese and the regular geese just didn’t like each other.  But something must have happened.

So let me tell you about yesterday.  First, there were several of the standard brownish geese families.  They were teaching the kids about swimming, eating, how to potty on the walking path…you know the standard things.  But then there was something else happening.  There were four white geese and they had like five babies and they were one big happy family. I’m sure there was a mom and a dad but there was also at least an aunt and an uncle.  They were all doing their family thing.  But hang on.

There was also a pair of the standard brownish geese and they had babies.  What was different was they had two brown babies and a baby that obviously came from the snow geese. No really.  I’m think they adopted one.  And you know what?  They treated him just like the rest.  But that wasn’t quite the end of the story either.  So, there was a pair of standard brownish geese and they had five brown babies.  They were so cute.  I think their names were probably like Larry, Barry, Harry, Terry and Ralph.  Anyway, there’s one more thing.

There was one of the big snow geese in the family mix.  He obviously had to be a distant, and I mean distant, relative.  But he was one tough dude.  The little babies were on the sidewalk and mom and dad were standing there.  Usually, when I would walk by a family, the dad would hiss at me and I would act afraid.  I wasn’t but I was hoping it made him feel better.  Anyway, mom and dad were like casual—no deal.

But then there was the snow goose named Bubba.  I mean when I got close he puffed his chest out, stretched his neck, glared at me and gave me his best manly hiss.  You know the kind those big cobra snakes do in India. The hair stood up on the back of my neck and on my arms and I kept moving.  I don’t know who Bubba was but he likes his family—brown or not—a lot.

You know, the more I thought about it… the more I thought it wasn’t weird at all.  I thought maybe that’s exactly how it is supposed to be.  The geese, regardless of their feather color, came together, formed a family and a community and were doing life.  Everyone seemed pretty happy to me.  Well, all except Bubba.  He had an attitude but I think even that was because he loved and cared for the others.

Someone once said it takes a village to raise a child.  It takes all kinds of people to make life work.  And do you know what?  It takes all kinds to make God’s family work too. If you go to church you know sometimes it can get just a little bumpy. Someone doesn’t like this or doesn’t like that.  Someone wears the wrong thing or not enough of the right thing.  Someone thinks things are too loud or too soft or too hot or too cold. Well, I think we need to take a lesson from the guys and gals at the park.

In the Bible Paul wrote that things would be pretty weird if a body was one giant ear or one giant eye.  If we were all the same we would just be in a hot mess.  It takes every part—ever person—being themselves and doing what God designed them to do.  And do you know what else it says?  It says in 1 Corinthians 12:18 “But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as He wanted.”  As.He.wanted.  That means that the person that you just love at church was put there by God.  And it also means the person who irritates you the most was put there too.  And perhaps they are there just for you. Of all God’s creations the church, His body, is one of His most beautiful.  A flower garden is made beautiful not in its sameness but in its variety. The body of Christ is made beautiful the very same way.  So, in these trying days, these crazy days, these days when it is so important that the church be the church, be sure and remember that the body is a bouquet of people and personalities selected and arranged by God himself.  We need the Bubbas and we need Larry, Barry, Harry, Terry and Ralph too.  We need the younger and we need the older.  We need each other.  Sound too difficult? Sound a little overwhelming?  Don’t worry about it.  God’s good at helping His rowdy, sometimes difficult kids grow.  So, take a rest in Him. He’s got this. Just ask Bubba.