“Honk, Honk!” Have you noticed the wild geese flying overhead in V-formations? “Honk, Honk!” you hear them before seeing them, such is the din of their in-flight entertainment. What is going on up there and why such a racket? Apparently, it’s not the latest gossip, but them keeping each other in line and on track.
Communication is critical for long term fruitful relationships. Involved as Killie FC chaplain during a slump in form, the importance of inter-communication on, and off, the field was affirmed and worked on to find our way through difficult days ‘TOGETHER’. There are at least four types of talk required: 1. Affirmation like “Well done Dan!” 2. Information like
“If you practice this, you’ll get better Betty.” 3. Motivation like “Get yer rear end in gear Gus!” and perhaps the most important 4. The primal communication of emotion, like “Here’s a hug Hilda.” or “I’m so sorry!” or “What the furry flurry d’you mean?” or “I forgive you.” or “Love you!” etc. All too easily, as we grow older, our primal emotional language can regress. As babies and children our goo-goo gagas evolve into more understandable expressions of emotion, but easily fear and ignorance can close down the ability to be positively emotional and intimate with each other.
God is an expert in all these types of communication and wants us to mature in our emotional literacy, able to name and process our Sadness, Joy, Anxiety, Affection, Anger, Gratitude, Embarrassment, Guilt, Fear, Hope and Love, etc. Something we’ve been talking about in our 10.30am streamed services of late.
I’m not an expert in goose language, but such is the conviction and volume of their honks overhead, I suspect all four languages might be contained in one stream of honks. Geese are remarkable for their taking turns to front the arrow and provide slipstream for their mates, something I’ve experienced when cycling in peloton, taking my turn at the front, allowing those cycling behind to get a short break from full brunt of the breeze. It makes a huge difference and allows you to cover greater distances, and much quicker.
Apparently, if a goose falls out of formation, etiquette is for at least one other goose to fall out with it to help it get back on track, a lovely illustration of the importance of us looking out for each other. It’s good to have pals, friends, buddies, mentors to look out for us and meet up with to process stuff and work through life. But beware of getting too comfortable. Some wild geese fell out of formation and landed next to a farmer’s small lake. Time came for them to rejoin their fellow geese flying overhead but they thought twice and missed the chance. Now and again they gave every indication of being ready to take off and fly high again, running and flapping their wings, but never made enough effort to get back up there. They became ‘domesticated geese’, like the ducks quacking about the farmland.
Don’t get too comfortable. God calls us to flight with him in adventurous service and sacrifice. Beware of hugging happiness and craving comfort, we’re called to a life of FAITH, ‘Fabulous Adventure In Trusting Him’. And remember we need each other’s encouragement of affirmation, information, motivation and the loving acceptance to be honest and open with our emotions. We can do so much more together than apart. In the synergy and slipstream of Jesus’ Spirit we can rise to challenges and opportunities, which we would shrink from on our own. Fly Long and High Together My Friends!