While preparing for some devotional thoughts I’ll be sharing next month, when Angie and I take a group of folks to Israel, I ran across this information related to a message Jesus shared with His disciples on a hillside in Galilee. “Look at the birds of the air” (Matt. 6:26). When we look at the geese that fly in formation, we can learn much about leadership and love in the family of God.
- As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds to follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
- 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 him.
- When the lead bird tires, it rotates back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
- The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
- When a bird gets sick or wounded, 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.
Perhaps the most striking lesson is that they carry out their purpose on earth as God designed them. This distinct species can only operate with God-created instincts. Those of us who are made in God’s image have far greater potential to practice these lessons consistently and creatively. We are uniquely designed and if we know Christ personally as Lord and Savior, we have the capacity to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to function as one, as Jesus was one with the Father. This was Jesus’ prayer for the apostles as well as all of us who have come to believe in the Jesus “through their message” (John 17:20-23).