Monday, July 16, 2007

Chasing the Wild Goose

I wanted to explain why I label some of my posts with the curious tag of "following the Wild Goose," but while looking for an image of a goose to go with my eloquent prose, I found an article online by Bill Tenny-Brittian that I think beautifully explains this ancient concept. I don't think I could say it any better, so I thought I'd share with you a portion of his excellent description:

The Celtic Christians, led by St. Patrick, stood in stark contrast to their Roman Catholic counterparts (although Celtic Christianity was a part of Roman Catholicism, their ways were significantly different. For one, the Celtic Christians were more a “Do as I do” tribe rather than a “Do as I teach” group. This meant that those outside of the Christian faith saw the Celtic Christians living the Christian life and were both amazed and interested in becoming a part of the faith. Conversely, when you think of Christians you know, which of their lives is so attractive that you just can’t stand to not be like them?

Where is that kind of life?

Which brings me to the wild goose. The Celts looked at nature and saw God revealed in all His glory and they understood God best when they took symbols from what they experienced. The Holy Spirit was symbolized by the wild goose. Doves were docile and delicate, but the wild goose was untamable, free, and unpredictable. Instead of a soft coo, the wild goose was noisy and raucous. And it seemed always to be on the move—on a pilgrimage ordained by the Lord Himself.

Jesus said that those Christians who were led by the Spirit were like the wind—you don’t know where it comes from and you don’t know where it’s going. A Christian who follows the wild goose is wild and free themselves. They have lives that are less than predictable. They live life to the full (John 10:10). They are wild and free, untamable either by society that would bind them with lies or by religion that would chain them with duty and obligation.

A life following in the tailwind of the wild goose. That’s the kind of life that calls to our innermost being and awakens the lethargic longings within.

That's the kind of life I want, and have chosen to pursue. What about you?

You can read the rest of Tenny-Brittian's article here.

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