Lessons from Geese

As we talked about the Promise in Mosaic. I used some ‘parables’ about geese to take us through a journey about our values – co-mission, communion, and community. Here is a video and lessons that we can all learn from:

Fact 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 direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 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: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3: 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 doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement the production is much 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.

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


Over the last few days I have been in a reflective mood. Yesterday I spent time with Harrison – just the two guys. It was at his request and I had been thinking about the two of us just taking time to hang out so it was an answer to a heart longing for both of us. We played football, walked, went to some stores he wanted to visit, ran some errands, looked for some books for him, chatted constantly, and played chess. This morning I had some time with him to talk about my relationship with my father, how that has shaped me, what my father taught me and how I am trying now to teach him. We read from Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” I talked to him about how I worry that my ‘dark’ side embitters him (we looked that word up in the dictionary). We prayed and then played chess. I’m joyful for the time we spent but also keenly aware of how I fail him/my children and the need to be in communion with God and others (mainly my wife) to help me avoid embittering our children. It made me get into an ‘even’ mood. I like that.