Geese Migration to Salvation: 5 Lessons from the Birds
Every year in the northern hemisphere, the phenomena of migration occurs. There is much that we can learn from these geese! Salvation, after all, is a team effort!
1) As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common goal and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. As Orthodox Christians, we surround ourselves with those who are also seeking salvation through the church, so that together we may be saved and actively seek salvation.
2) When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: When we stray from the church, the temptations of the evil one are quick to drag us down. Having more than a “bird-brain” we can seek out our spiritual father and our church community for support and guidance. (The Russian Proverb rings: the only thing one does alone is go to hell)
3) When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: Although we hopefully are not slacking off in our spiritual formation, we recognize that we will not always be at the top of our game all of the time. Whether it be prayer and fasting, or the difference in guiding our children and being guided by our spiritual father, we hopefully, stay on course in the right direction.
4) The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: Encouragement helps keep everyone working with joy! We should encourage our brothers and sisters in their flight to salvation!
5) When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
Lesson: For those who stray from the church, or have lost sight of the reason for their efforts we should take it upon ourselves to look out for them and guide them. It may be as simple as a prayer for them, or it may mean reaching out to that person. At the same time, we have to ensure that we do not also lose sight of our own path to salvation.