Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard relays a true story about some geese that one winter, instead of continuing to fly south, had settled on his farm which was only the midpoint of their trip. They stayed there for the winter. For the next couple of years, as other geese were honking on their flight south, the geese on his farm were squawking and getting all riled up. Yet they never took flight to continue south, but instead made the decision to stay on the farm. After a few years the geese on his farm became oblivious to the honking overhead. They would just keep pecking at the earth as other geese overhead honked on their way south for the winter.
Several contemporary books tell the story of the geese and make the case that this is a parable of the American church. While there is a calling on our lives as followers of Jesus, we have become oblivious to it. We have settled at the trough enjoying all our blessings, unconcerned about, or unaware of, our purpose. We are too comfortable. We have it made.
Kierkegaard ends his story with this warning: while a wild goose can be tamed, seldom does a tame goose become wild again.
Erwin McManus, in his book The Barbarian Way writes (as I paraphrase) that somewhere along the way a movement of Jesus Christ became civilized and called Christianity. And in this man made type of Christianity, God’s desire is that we live a safe life risking nothing, sacrificing nothing, and losing nothing. We must find our way out of this comfortable “Christianity” and become wild again. We have become the geese who have travelled just far enough to become comfortable. Very few will return to the skies to continue in The Way.
I never want to be tamed. And it may or may not cause those around me to squawk 😉