“Therefore, comfort and upbuild one another, as indeed you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
We’ve all heard the expression “silly goose.” But did you ever realize that we humans can learn more than a few things from these so-called “bird brains.” Dr. Robert McNeish of Baltimore worked for many years as a science teacher and studied the behavior of these migratory birds. In 1972, he wrote Lessons from the Geese and delivered it as a sermon for his church. Since then his observations have been cited in numerous organizational and leadership training programs.
When in the ‘V’ formation, each goose flaps its wings creating an uplift for the goose immediately following. This gives the whole flock more flying range than if each bird were on its own.
Lesson? Those who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they travel on the thrust of one another’s effort.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it greatly affects its flight –impacting the drag of the air as well as air resistance from trying to go it alone. The goose immediately gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of them.
Lesson? If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the V, allowing others to lead for a while.
Lesson? Sometimes we need to admit we need a rest & to allow others to lead & help us.
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson? We all need encouragement – so make sure what we are putting out there to others is encouraging and not hurtful.
When a goose gets sick or hurt and falls out of formation, two geese go with it and provide help and protection. They stay with the hurting goose until it is able to fly; then they set out together to catch up with the flock.
Lesson? No one needs to do life alone. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by one another and bear each other’s burdens.
It seems like it is becoming easier and easier to live a life apart from others, with little or no social interaction. But God did not create us to be alone. He created us to be together, in community, to help each other. To not have the sense of a goose in knowing that we need each other would be downright … foul.
Watering the Seeds
Which one of the lessons resonated with you the most? Why so?
When did you – or didn’t you – live this lesson lesson? And what happened?