Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Geese Fly Further Than Eagles

Storyteller and dramatist Bob Stromberg recalls this story from his childhood:

What I witnessed that day as a child
has been going on with geese in the wild since the very first autumn.
You see, their bodies are streamlined,
the neck like a spear,
slicing the wind,
breaking the air.
And from the ground it's impossible to see,
but their wings aren't flapping randomly.

When the head goose grabs the wind,
air is displaced,
which then rushes up to reclaim its place,
only to see the smiling ace
of the bird flying behind,
whose wings just happen to be in the downward position -
a very dangerous condition,
which doesn't last for long,
Because the upward rush
gives them a push,
and they're right back where they belong.
This goose then grabs the air again,
causing another upward wind,
which lifts the bird behind.
And so ans so it goes on down the line.

So the head goose breaks the wind,
and all the rest are carried by him,
with very little effort I've heard,
on the part of any one bird.
When the head goose has had enough,
he or she simply drops back
and depends on another bird for strength
when strength is what is lacked.

So that's how I found out
how the goose can fly from up north
to way down south and back again.
But she cannot do it alone, you see.
It's something that must be done in community.

These days it's a popular notion,
and people swell with emotion and pride
when they think of themselves on the eagle-side:

But what we are,
That's something we cannot choose.
Though many would wish to be seen as an eagle,
God made most like the goose.

Yesterday at Elevation Pastor Steven used the geese flying in formation story as a reminder of the importance of community. We're kicking off a new season of community at Elevation, and our eGroup has 7 new people dropping by tomorrow night for the first time.

Getting connected with others who share similar interests or passions is one of the best ways to truly build community. God always intended for us to encourage, challenge, inspire and care for others. Spiritual growth, discipleship, serving, and relationships are all a part of our eGroup experience.

What does community look like in your church?

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