Sep 7, 2021 in Life Coaching


I love geese. 

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I love geese. 

Especially in Spring.

I love to watch them fly and then land on my neighbor's pond just beyond our backyard, and settle in for the spring season, announcing their arrival with a honk that sometimes sounds like bagpipes getting run over along the way. That glorious sound puts a smile on my face and a bounce in my step because they are announcing the arrival of Spring.

Conversely, it saddens me when I see them leave in September, and I shiver a bit knowing cold weather once again will soon be upon us. 

But the real reason I love to watch geese is that they are God’s natural-born encouragers.

When geese fly in their V pattern, that flock adds at least 71% more flying range than if each goose went it alone. That is because each bird gets a lift from the one in front of it, and it’s easier for them to flap their wings. When a goose falls out of formation, it immediately feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation. 

We can certainly learn something from geese. Like geese, we weren't designed to do life alone. We were designed to encourage one another and build relationships that lift one another up.

There is a saying that goes "A rising tide lifts all boats." We are strong only when we support each other. But I'm not talking about political or financial support. I'm talking about emotional support, physical support when necessary, and dare I say most importantly spiritual support. 

That kind of support is the toughest of all. It's easier to support a cause by writing a check or signing a petition. The tough part is reaching out and say "What do you need?"  "How can I help you?" 

And then do it. 

When was the last time you reached out to your child's teacher, for example, to say "Thank you, keep it up!" Or ask "How you can help?"

We do a great job as individuals coming together in times of crisis and are always so amazed at the generosity of the human spirit. If we are to learn anything from history, it's that there will be crises. And if we can band together in a crisis, can we band together in good times too? Wouldn't that help to ease the blow before a crisis? Wouldn't that help to ease anxiety? Depression? 

God did not create us to do life alone. God created us to be like the geese, who lift each other up in order to continue the journey. We are the geese of this community and just as the geese have a common focused goal, our common focused goal is to encourage each other to stay true to what is right, good, and eternal, and to follow our true purpose.

When our steadfast purpose becomes greater than ourselves, and we find others with the same purpose, it’s easier to rally others together. Once that happens, like the geese, we then lift each other up in praise and encourage each other along the way. 

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates to the back of the V so it can rest, and another goose takes point. And all the geese honk to encourage the one in front.

So by watching geese fly, we learn that there is no such thing as ego. Nothing is more important than the purpose which they were called to do. This is key when learning to encourage others to pursue their purpose and to pursue it for the right reasons. Are we encouraging others for a greater purpose? And are we humble enough to recognize when it is time to step down and allow others to take the lead? This could apply to any area of our life: Leading a church, a family, an organization, a business.  When is the right time to pass the baton, to pass the torch, and are we humble enough to accept that decision with grace?

And when that torch is passed on to us, are we prepared to take it? To take the lead? Every event in our lives has been for a reason. If we look back on our past experiences, we can generally find events or actions that have given us wisdom and knowledge, and if we are humble enough to learn from it, will put us right where we need to be at the right time.

When a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out of formation, two more will land also to lend protection. They stay with the goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; they then either launch out on their own or join another flock to reach their destination. 

So, although the common goal is to focus and reach the end destination, geese encourage each other at all times.

When we surround ourselves and others with kindness and compassion and encourage others, especially those that are more vulnerable, we go beyond ourselves in order to serve and encourage others.

So just by watching geese, we learn that by having a focused purpose and lifting each other up and encouraging others, we can go further than we could on our own.  

We learn that the common purpose is greater than any one individual, so it is important not to get full of ourselves. 

Humility is key. 

We learn compassion and care for those that are injured or sick and encourage them to recover in order to press on. 

Geese are God’s perfect example of encouragement. 

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