Friday, February 18, 2011

Honk Honk!

This morning on the way to work, I saw a flock of geese.
They were the most disorganized, bunched-up, pathetic looking flock of geese I've ever seen. 
Flocks of geese have been flying north for a couple weeks now.  

I love to listen to their honking as they fly overhead. 
You can hear them long before you can see them.  
It seems rather soothing to me.

Wonder why they make all that noise ?

Seems like it would take up too much energy to honk while flapping their wings?  

Heaven knows I can't even walk fast and talk at the same time. 
I'm too busy gasping for breath.

I don't know if  THIS  flock lacked leadership or if a few
were suffering from an oppositional or cynical attitude.
You know . . . . refusing to listen to their leader. 
Or maybe several wanted to BE the leader. 

Or maybe, one of the juveniles said "Mommy, I was
in back of you last time.  It's MY turn to be in front this time!"
Or maybe a couple young ones were dragging their
feet/wings saying;  "Dad, do we really have to get up now?  Are we almost there?"
You know how kids are??

Didn't they know they're supposed to be flying in formation?   Everyone knows geese fly in a V formation. 

Not these geese!!    
I wished I'd had my camera out of my bag. 
It was the funniest tangled up mess I've seen. 

They were flying very low.
In hindsight, I've now decided they had just taken off from a near-by pond and hadn't had time to get into formation yet.  

It takes time and disciple to do the right thing in the right way, you know? 
To get into the correct position. 
Maybe I was expecting too much.

As I watched the disarray in bewilderment,  they gradually and slowly started to make a few changes.

Just little changes. 
Not major changes. 

A few sped up,
A few slowed down.
A few shifted right
A few shifted left

And right before my eyes, with little noticeabe movement, they worked themselves
into a perfect V.   It was amazing.    I was shocked.

In his book "Seismic Shifts", Kevin Harney talks about how little iitty-bitty changes can make
huge differences in our lives.

That is exactly what was happening in this flock, as I watched. 

Scientific studies show that geese in a formation are able to fly 70% further than if they would have tried to fly alone.

Those little 'shifts' that each goose was willing to make,
as I watched,  
made all the difference in how far this flock would fly TODAY. 

What an awesome lesson in what can be accomplished if we'd work as a team. 

Did you know that geese make noise as encouragement for each other?.  
They make noise so their family members know where they are? 

The flock of geese ability to travel vast distances is based on:
  • teamwork
  • the ability to recognize their family's voice. 
  • the ability to know where each other is located in the formation
  • the encouragement they receive from each other

After getting home from work &  doing a little study on geese I am overwhelmed.  
    • How many times have I tried to do 'it' alone and ended up with just a lot of feathers floating around and then overwhelmed by fatigue?

    • How many times have I impatiently thought someone should get into "it" NOW?

    • How many times have I not "honked" some important message to my co-workers, my familt, and   friends?    

    • How many times have I expected too much too soon?

    • How many times have I remained silent when I should have spoken?     
    • How many times could I have encouraged and didn't? 

    • How many times should I have 'shifted' a little, which could have made ALL the difference? 

    • How many times have I been too busy to even recognize the voices of my own family, co-workers, &  friends in their time of need?

    • How many times have I been too busy to 'recognize' the voice of God or have not even been listening for the still small voice?

    Most of us are just so independent.
    We are just so busy.

    Actually, now that I think about it;
    we are often busy making our own noise,
    not for someone else,
    not to help someone else find their way,
    but only for ourselves.
    We think we can do it ALL by ourselves. 

    In reality, we are not an island unto ourselves. 
    We need each other. 
    We need God.

    Just like the goose that is in the lead.  He's preparing the way for the rest of the flock.
    God is preparing the way for us. 

    “the Lord himself goes before me - preparing the way -  and will be with me.  Do not be afraid”.   Deut 31:8;

Here is more information on geese-  JM

Flying in a V formation conserves their energy.  
Each goose behind the leader has reduced wind resistance.
This reduced drag means the geese behind do not have to flap their wings
as much and don't tire as quickly.  

We've watched this technique in auto racing when a race
gets close behind another race car and use the 'drag effect' to conserve gas.
Of course, this means the leader tires fastest, because he is literally "breaking the way" -
or "making the way" -  for the rest of the geese in the V.  

When the leader tires they fall back farther into the middle of the V and another
goose moves up to take the lead position. 
This rotation takes place throughout their entire migration,
thus allowing the flock to fly great distances. 

This V formation and their honking allows the geese to communicate more
easily and provides them with good visual contact of each other -
so they can keep the flock together.

Did you know that, next to humans, geese are one of the most talkative animals?
They each have their own distinctive honk,
just as we each have our own distinctive voices. 

By honking and voice recognition, a temporarily lost goose can easily locate
and rejoin its family members among a great flock.

How?  Because they recognize each other's voice.
They recognize their father's and mother's 'honk'.
Because they ARE listening for those familiar voices. 

Several references referred to the fact that the honking is also a way of encouraging
the leader and each other to keep going. 
The honking also tells each goose where each other are within the formation.
The honking helps keep them from running into each other.
Helps them stay in the right position in the formation.

The flock of geese ability to travel vast distances is based on:
  • teamwork
  • the ability to recognize their family's voice. 
  • the ability to know where each other is located in the formation
  • the encouragement they receive from each other

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