Say Goodbye to the Goose | Lesson In Self Absorbency
One of the consequences of living in the rural Midwest is the unmistakable backyard menace – the Canadian goose. My goodness, my desire for all animals to love me does not apply to this horrid creature. Geese are such strange things. They waddle their way into every free area, and set up camp. Not only do they set up camp, but they will defend it at all costs. When I say defend it, I mean freak out about any organism within a 10 yard radius. From a distance, it’s hilarious! When it’s right in front of you… it’s horrendous. On one occasion, I was driving down the road when I passed a goose’s nest. I was about 15 feet away, but it began honking and chasing after me! From my rear view mirror I could see the beast hiss and waddle angrily. I couldn’t believe it! It didn’t have any goslings nearby or any reason to feel threatened, but it had decided that I was too close to its area! In its mind, I was an unwelcome intruder and needed to leave.
Sadly, it’s not just a few geese like this in a park, but it’s a whole flock in the landscaping, walking path, and every other crevice in the park. In nearly all circumstances, they’re livid, too.
Whenever I have one of these encounters, I’m baffled. How could such a goofy-looking animal be so hostile for so little reason?
The more I think about it, the more I think sometimes Christians can be kind of like geese. In new environments and situations, we would rather put up walls to ward off potential “bad things.” Although we may not realize it, sometimes we can get lost in the attempt to be more godly or pure, and we can annex ourselves from the rest of the world.
In the some of the extreme cases, we see groups like the Amish or doomsday preppers, but a lot of us do this in a much more subtle manner. When someone is dressed ‘rougher,’ are we the first to make friends with them? Of course not! We don’t want anyone to think we hang out with that crowd! Would we ever back down in conversations about controversial issues? Of course not! The other people need to realize they’re wrong. Will we stand idly by while someone mocks something we care about? Of course not! They don’t know what they’re talking about!
I can just hear the obnoxious honking now. Like a goose, sometimes we let ourselves get so wrapped in self absorbency that we forget the most important thing.
John 15:12 tells us, “My command is this: Love each other as I loved you.”
Christ was abused, mistreated, and rejected. Or more personally, we abused, mistreated, and rejected Christ. Yet, in His perfectness, he looked beyond the grotesqueness in every one of us. Jesus saw us as people worth loving. Because of this, He paid it all. He bore every single sin you, I, and everyone else has ever committed on a cross. And in this one sentence, he tells us to love others in that same manner.
That’s breathtaking and absolutely phenomenal. No matter the situation, we are called to love one another like Christ loved us so deeply. So, how do you do that?
Breaking Down Walls
To love others like Christ loved, we must be present. It’s so easy to build walls like the crazy goose hiding in the bushes, but we must tear those down and be present among all people and among God. Don’t allow anything to stop you – appearances, stigmas, or anything else. If God saw them as worthy enough to send his own son as an eternal sacrifice, then they are more than worthy enough for you love.
In addition to this, don’t succumb to society’s views of the “every day.” We all believe that we have about 80 years on this Earth, so we have plenty of time love like Christ, right? When I hear people talk like that, my heart is filled with sorrow. So much time is wasted because of this mentality. Last year, a friend of mine died suddenly for reasons not entirely known. It took me completely off guard. Seeing someone my age in a casket was something was not prepared for at the age of 16.
That is why I urge you, ladies: live in this moment and show the unfathomable love of Jesus Christ to everyone you encounter. Use every second you have on Earth to fulfill God’s purpose for you. Don’t live your life like you have decades before you, because you may not.
Don’t strut around like the Canadian goose that is too good to show kindness.
Instead, be present for every moment, because every moment can be used for the glorious purpose of Christ.
Holly Gaskill has two great passions in life: Jesus Christ and writing. As a high school junior of a small Indiana town, writing devotionals is her way of combining both and furthering His Kingdom. In her free time Holly also loves to bond with her buds, get sucked into a good book, and jam to her favorite tunes. In her future, she hopes to go to college to major in professional writing and start her own devotional blog.