Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When God uses nature to reinforce His teaching

“And at a time where the senses are on fire, it is impossible toembrace the beauty without believing embracing God!” Victor Hugo

Depending on which part of the country (or the world) you live in, you might be able to experience the marvelous beauty of fall. I love fall and I am very happy to be in the North Country where the colors are amazing.

Last year at about the same time we were in Kansas and Canadian geese would flock to Ft Leavenworth and take over the golf course for the winter. Here at Fort Drum, we have seen the geese fly south as the temperature has been dropping. I have been reading on those fascinating animals and here are some interesting facts about them.

  • Fact: 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 72% 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 it.

LessonChrist made it clear that we are not our own anymore and that we are there to support each other. A morning with fellow Christians or church is uplifting because we are encouraged by another body of believers. We are all behind Christ and follow his lead. Only then can we feel the uplift and greater flying range. I am guilty on more days that I care to account for trying to do it on my own. I pray that you will all stay in formation with me and feel the uplift!

Psalm 18:32“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” 

Isaiah 40:31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

  • Fact:When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns going the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.

They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

  • Fact: The geese flying formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Romans 12:8
if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

  • Fact: 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: If we had as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

All pictures are from Brittany Gregory and cannot be used before receiving written authorization.