Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lesson 1: The “V” Formation

(Our devotional this week on encouragement will draw from edits of The Gospel According to Geese by Gary Minty. 

If I ever hear geese honking, I quickly look to the skies and try to locate the flock.  I am fascinated by several characteristics of the geese. If you notice, there are a few things pretty consistent about geese flying at altitude.  The majority of the time, they will be flying in a “V” formation. And usually, their “honking” is what calls your attention to the flock.  Both have a purpose.  We can learn a great deal by studying the geese.

God made the geese with an instinct to fly south in the fall, fly north in the spring and fly in a “V” formation when they do.  You see, geese do not go to an aeronautical school to learn to fly in that formation; but the aeronautical engineers went to goose school to find out why they do. When they did, the engineers and scientists alike discovered that geese flying together in formation could fly 71% further than a single goose flying alone.  What that means is; if you measure the amount of energy or effort it would take a single goose to fly 100 miles; that same goose, flying with a flock, in that “V” formation, using that same amount of energy or effort, could fly 171 miles. Now that’s a significant difference!

How does this work?  Well, as the goose pushes its wings down and backward to receive an upward and forward push, it pushes a certain amount of air “down and backward.”  What did we learn in physical science?  “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.”  Because the atmospheric pressure surrounding the goose, started out as being equal, the air that is pushed down can only stay down for a very short period of time before it rushes back up, trying to equalize that pressure.  This causes an “uplift” of air immediately to the side and rear of the goose doing the pushing.  Therefore, any other goose flying in that uplift of air can fly with less effort than if it was flying alone.  So it is with the Church as a whole and with the different ministries of a church; working together, we can accomplish much more than the sum total of all of us working separately.

Does that term “uplift” have a familiar tone to it?  When we are a part of a group, heading in the right direction, with the right leadership, and everyone doing their part to contribute to the overall effort, isn’t it uplifting?  Does the song lyric “you are the wind beneath my wings” take on a different meaning?  There are numerous examples in the scientific world; the practical world and biblically that will substantiate this “team work effort” efficiency.  There seems to be two facets of this phenomenon:
  • United, we are greater than the sum total of our parts
  • Coordinated effort is the key to our success.

Isn’t this the same thing Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 1:10 when he wrote the Church at Corinth and said “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no division among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose.”

In summary of the first lesson from geese; we will be more efficient and productive if we will join together, follow our leader, provide each other up-lift, and work toward a common goal.

Scripture to Claim:
Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2  

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