A few days ago a flock of Canada Geese were making their way to their winter home, at least we think they were. There must have been 300 flying together! Their honking filled the air as they flew in beautiful formation with one leading the way for the rest. It was a beautiful sight! But there was only one problem, they were ALL flying northeast, not south as expected! While we were watching and wondering why they were flying in the opposite direction, one lone goose at the end of the formation began to turn around, leaving the rest of the formation. Amazingly, this one took off on his own to head back in the correct direction. We had to chuckle at the audacity of this lone goose!
Despite our chuckles, we can learn a lesson from this goose: don’t follow the crowd when they are going in the wrong direction.
God’s Word confirms the lesson with this verse:
‘There is a way that seemth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:10
Like the flock of geese, we often are positive that we know what is best and proceed on a path of action that we are sure will lead to success. Then when we falter or fail, we wonder what happened. Why did God let us down? Our plan was certain to be a guaranteed success.
Uh no, our plans are usually a guaranteed failure. We can’t see the whole picture. Only God can. We can’t know what’s really in our best interests further along life’s way. Only God can.
When things don’t go as we plan, we blame God for being unfaithful and untrustworthy. Yet it isn’t God’s failure, it’s ours. We have been unfaithful because we didn’t obey Him. We didn’t seek His wisdom or consult His Word for guidance. We didn’t listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit who leads us to all truth. Nope, we were certain our plan was better. If we were honest here for a minute, we would admit that we were so sure our plan was right, that we never even thought to consult the One who knows for sure.
Our lone goose was very brave. Scientifically, it has been proven that geese actually travel farther and more efficiently when in a group! Leaving the group might mean certain death, but continuing along with them was also iffy, for it’s possible the flock was not going to end up in the right place. Unlike the goose, when we separate ourselves from the group, we aren’t alone. Our Lord is with us!
We humans tend to have trouble separating ourselves from the crowd. We like to be an accepted part of the group, and we go along following wherever they take us. It’s often easier than obeying the life principles of God’s Word. After all, if you believe the media, it’s not a popular stance to take, leaving one subject to derision and scorn. Yet, the consequences of disobedience are far more unpleasant. Maybe you remember a time where you followed your crowd and ended up in a place or situation you didn’t want to be.
What is God’s plan? He wants us to crucify the desires of our flesh, not cater to them. When we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He did a work in us and continues to work in us to fashion each of us into the person He created us to be.
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection…” 1 Corinthians 9:27a
He gives us the will and the desire to stop giving in to our unrighteous desires, and He provides the way of escape whenever we are tempted.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
If your crowd is taking you in the wrong direction, away from God, it’s time to separate yourself. You need a new crowd to fly with!
Originally posted November, 2007. Copyright Linda Hull.