Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Flying and Smiling

A long, sweeping, crushed-stone and gravel driveway connects our house to the main road. I was scheduled to speak at a church in Pine Mountain in a few hours. What I had done for so many years when I led churches, I was doing once again on the last Sunday of 2013: outside just after daylight walking, and thinking through each phase of the message I intended to deliver. Jeans, a white buttoned-down collared shirt, and my navy blue blazer with brass buttons would be acceptable Sunday go-to-meeting attire. As I walked and organized my thoughts, the gravel crunched under my feet, gray clouds sagged close to the treetops, and translucent wisps of ground fog swayed like ghosts, then disappeared as they slowly lifted toward the heavens.

Ponds and farmlands of varying sizes surround us, and those elegant birds with their long-necks, shiny black and white and gray plumage are frequently seen moving from place to place in > shaped formations. Sunday morning was a little different though. From the west I heard the familiar loud honking that grew louder and louder, but as this wedge appeared they barely winged higher than the treetops. As they passed overhead their wings swish and whistled, and I could clearly see their large black beaks open and close as they sounded.

I stopped walking to take in the moment. Almost instantly, I thought of how--spiritually speaking--I would like to be that goose flying at the point and leading others on an adventure. Or, like those that followed the leader, caught up in the draft of a great movement of God. But in seconds, my mind was processing a line of thinking/praying/hearing at the heart level--that didn't carry a burden of negativity with it--that went this way: "That is not where I am right now."

Then, something funny happened: about one hundred yards behind the flock came a single goose, honking, steadily flapping its wings, and closing the gap as it tried to catch up with the group ahead.

I started smiling...


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