The Flight of the Wild Goose


© Dave Appleton,

The picture to the left is a hybrid goose. A hybrid is a cross bred animal, in this case a domestic goose of some sort, perhaps a greylag or white goose, mixed with a wild goose. This goose resembles a wild goose in some of its physical attibutes, but its behavior more resembles that of the domesticated goose. It lolls about the shoreline waiting for hand outs. Even when an encroaching stranger comes flapping arms and legs to move them along, they don't move. They are too content waiting for their food to sound an alarm to warn of the potential danger and take flight.

 © Dave Appleton,

Pictured below, left is the wild, Canadian Goose.  This goose, I noticed, set itself away from people.  It stationed itself and its nestlings on a more remote part of the riverbank.  You could see these geese teaching their goslings how to swim upstream, how to take flight against the current of the river, and to hunt for food.  They were racous and loud, sounding the alarm to the rest of the flock to at the slightest possible danger.

Why am I talking about birding today? As I observed the geese at the river, I heard a little knock on my noggin,   "The hybrid geese are lukewarm Christians.  The wild geese are a picture of the Spirit filled, sold out followers of Jesus."  As I pondered the full meaning of those two statements, I was also  reminded that the Celtic Christians symbol for the Holy Spirit was the wild goose. 

A hybrid is defined as a cross bred animal.  More succinctly, a hybrid is a combination of two different species.  Another word for it is 'mongrel'.  It is neither a domestic goose nor a wild goose.  It is a mongrel goose.  Like the hybrid goose, the lukewarm Christian is a mongrel.  That person has the Holy Spirit (the Wild Goose) in them, but act like they don't.  This  Christian looks more like the world around them than Jesus. He or she doesn't need to depend on God because they obtain whatever they need or want  from their own resources.  They do not recognize the sovreignty of God and his hand in their lives.  These type Christians are dangerous to those watching them.  They are the people non-christians point to as evidence in their case against God.  They are the stumbling blocks in lost people's path to the one, true God.

As disciples of Christ, we are made to be more than that. We have the Spirit of the Wild Goose in us!  We are made to go on a different flight plan.  We are not made to sit on the shore.  We are made to get up and go where God is calling us, to be dependent on God and God alone, and to love people enough to show them to the heart of Jesus.  We are supposed to be aware of the dangers of the world around us.  We are supposed to be noisly celebrating and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to our children and the world around us.

We want people to eagerly follow the flight of the Wild Goose.  We don't want people to watch us sitting on the shoreline while they curse our surly demeanors and the poo we leave behind.  We want to be known for our wild, loving, Jesus hearts.

Wake up and see that it is more dangerous to docily accept what life is shoveling you than to follow God's calling on your life.  People are poor, sick, unloved, and alone.  Get up you people of God!  Go to those who need you most.  Get on with what God is calling you to do! Lose your life completely in Jesus!  LOVE EXTRAVAGANTLY!

Ponder this:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  Revelation 3:15 -17 NIV

 “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Luke 9:23-24 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:29-31 NIV

Listen to and consider the words of these songs:

Love Come to Life by Big Daddy Weave

Motion of Mercy by Francesca Battistelli

New International Version (NIV)


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