I have a tendency to look up when I walk. I love seeing the long white trails left by airplanes as they soar through the air heading to all kinds of exotic places. I find myself wondering where it is headed and wishing that I were going, too. But, I also think about the fact that someone may be headed to a funeral or to work on a special project or to try to save a marriage. So, I pray that God will take them safely and keep them in His tender and merciful care. But, my favorite act is to look up and see teams of birds flying together toward a common destination. When geese are in flight, they are called a skein, a team, or a wedge; when they are on the ground or in a body of water, they are called a gaggle.
Seeing a team of birds flying together always reminds me of the order of the universe, because they instinctively know when to start flying and how to get where they are going. Oh, how I sometimes wish that as human beings we had that instinct when we are young, so that we could avoid some of the mistakes along this journey! To have a sense of where we are to go and what we are to do when we get there would be great, but, I would argue that some of the greatest moments of our lives occur when we “get lost” and then find that we are where we were meant to be all along. That is why I am particularly intrigued by geese that fly in a V formation.
It was in researching why geese fly in a V formation that I came to really understand that human beings can learn a lot by observing nature and its inhabitants. Job 12:7-8 states, “Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you.” Job was suggesting that his “friends” try learning from nature and its inhabitants the wisdom needed for this earthly journey.
As I came to understand that geese fly in a V formation to minimize the energy needed to reach their destination and to arrive there quicker, mainly because every one of them is doing their share of the hard work, I thought about how individuals in marriages would benefit from learning to travel in a V formation. For example, I read that each goose provides additional lift for the next goose, reducing air resistance for the goose flying behind it, making the journey easier for the second goose.
This means that they can all go farther, expending a lot less energy than if they were each dependent only on themselves. Well, in marriage, two people are headed to destinations, meanly goals and objectives, that have, hopefully, been decided on before marriage. It takes both parties helping each other to reach their destinations.
If one is so independent or self-centered that they refuse to lift the other in times of trials and disappointments in the other spouse’s life, then it will take a lot more energy on the part of both of them to arrive at their goals. When both are pulling their weight, helping each other to endure crises in their individual lives as well as problems in the marriage, then less energy is expended in arguments and fights that ultimately can cause both to get off-course and never reach their agreed-upon goals.
I also read that the geese rotate the leadership position, so that when one goose gets tired, another goose moves forward to take the lead, while the tired goose drops back and moves to the rear, thereby getting the help or lift needed that minimizes his energy needs. This allows the tired goose to rest, instead of having an overworked and fatigued leader, which could result in mistakes that hurt the whole flock.
Leadership in marriage looks different from that in a business, where one person always leads and their decisions are the only ones that matter. In a good marriage, both parties must be included in the decision-making process. When one person is always responsible for every decision made and every action taken, with no input allowed from the other person, eventually that first entity becomes overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of decisions that must be made.
Moreover, to not be allowed any say in the decisions made renders the other spouse irrelevant, taking away any sense of value and worth that they may have brought into the marriage. Everyone wants to feel that their opinions matter. By allowing both parties to participate in the decision-making process, one person does not get so burnt-out that they start to make the wrong decisions, especially financial ones, that can hurt the goals and objectives of the marriage.
Lastly, when one goose gets ill, shot, or injured and falls out of the sky, two others are required to fall out of formation with them and to remain with them until they can either fly again or dies. In this way, they take care of each other and no goose is ever alone in distress. What a mighty God we serve!
God in His infinite wisdom ensures that not even birds are left alone in times of suffering. But, even more awesome, God knew that as human beings, we would need the love and care of another human being in times of sorrow and pain. So, he created marriage, in which the two individuals became helpers for each other, expected to love, cherish, honor, and care for each other until one or both dies. Ephesian 5:21 states, “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
I am blessed to be married to an exceptional human being, as Douglas is one of the most intelligent people I know and a walking Biblical concordance. Neither of us is perfect, although I may come closer to perfection than him (Just kidding, people! Chill out!). We work together to make decisions, which I appreciate so much. When I decided to create this blog site, I did so with the intention of being the only writer. But, I kept feeling in my spirit that I was to ask Douglas to write as well, particularly because he has a different outlook on life than I do and different stories, as we come from different races, genders, cultures, and social classes.
Finally, I obeyed the Holy Spirit, and I asked if he would like to write a blog or two. Well, his blogs were the ones that started to be liked, as I started all of my blogs with Scriptures, and, it seems, people were not “hooked” immediately as they were with Douglas’s stories. He schooled me in how to draw people into my stories and then incorporate Scriptures as needed. It was great advice!
We are a team flying in a V formation to ensure that the goals and objectives for this blog site are met in a way that brings honor and glory to God. The blog site is just easier to manage with both of us writing, as it takes a lot less energy to do and one person isn’t feeling overwhelmed having to always think of the next post. For the last few weeks, only I have been writing posts, because Douglas had a more intense case of flu than me and hasn’t felt like writing.
I have seen how tired one can get trying to do this alone. When he came home today from church, I reminded him of how much his posts were liked (Yes, this is pure manipulation, and I am not ashamed!). I realize that, just as the geese need each other to get to their final destination, whether their original one or even death, I need and want his help, if we are to create a blog that helps people “see” God in our stories, which is always our goal.