Monday Morning Devotion-January 18, 2021
The Wild Goose Chase
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Ever felt like you were on a wild goose chase? I have. In fact, since computers took over my world challenging my low-tech brain, I have spent countless hours, at times, on wild goose chases trying to solve a problem.
OK let's establish what we mean by a wild goose chase. The Oxford dictionary says a wild goose chase is: "a foolish and hopeless pursuit of something unattainable." Hmmm! Now how does that fit these "rabbit trails" I head down? Rabbit trails refer to veering off subject, usually in a conversation, which often happens when you are on one of these wild goose chases.
Well, if what you are pursuing on your wild goose chase is actually hopeless and its unattainable then why chase after it in the first place? Good question.
First of all, we don't know that it is unattainable when we start chasing after it. Then the chase begins to lead us down one rabbit trail after another. In fact, we can get so far afield that we almost forget what answer(s) we were seeking to start with.
Since we don't know, at first, that this is unattainable we doggedly (another animal involved) pursue it. There is another reason, in fact it is the main one, to pursue these problems and not feel that they are fruitless pursuits. It has to do with the way the Celtics view God. Say what? Well, let me share a Mark Batterson story to explain:
"Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu felt called to ministry when she was a teenager. She did her ministerial training in Ireland and India. And one day she approached her superiors with a God-ordained passion. She said, 'I have three pennies and a dream from God to build an orphanage.'
Her superiors said, 'You can't build an orphanage with three pennies. With three pennies you can't do anything.'
Agnes smiled and said, 'I know. But with God and three pennies I can do anything.'
For fifty years Agnes worked among the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India. In 1979 the woman we know as Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize. Listen, it is a long way from three pennies to a Nobel Peace Prize. And my question is, how did a woman with so little do so much? The answer is simple. Never underestimate someone who has the courage to come out of the cage and pursue a God ordained passion.
Toward the end of her ministry, Mother Teresa was often asked by her admirers how they could make a difference with their lives the way she had with hers.
Mother Teresa proved that faith in God can turn any situation, no matter how impossible it seems or how much it appears to have the trappings of a wild goose chase into a legitimate pursuit."
Now about that Celtic involvement in this devotion. In his book "Wild Goose Chase" Batterson, in fact it's on page one that he points out: "The Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit that has always intrigued me. They called him An Geadh-Glas or the Wild Goose. I love the imagery and implications. The name hints at the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed."
Every wild goose chase starts with a step of faith before it can avoid being that "foolish, hopeless pursuit of something unattainable."
Once upon a time there was this fellow named Christopher Columbus. He started out on what folks perceived to be the Mother of all wild goose chases. He wanted to find a westward route to the Indies. All those scoffers at this foolish idea thought that if you went too far out in the ocean you would either fall off the edge of a flat earth or run into two-headed dragons.
As we all know Columbus not only debunked all those foolish ideas, but he made a discovery that we are all thankful for today as he discovered our country. Batterson writes:
"Columbus states that it wasn't intelligence, mathematics or maps that made his voyage a success. Columbus credited the Holy Spirit with the idea. 'It was the Lord who put it into my mind. (I could feel His hand upon me), the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures."
In the words of Andre Gide, 'People cannot discover new lands until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore.'
The Wild Goose is always calling us into terra incognita. Lands unknown, situations never before experienced, chances to be taken.
As Batterson concludes: "And if you have the faith to take the first step, God will have the last laugh."
No one will be able to call you a silly goose or say that your goose is cooked.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for turning those wild goose chases we are faced with into mega-successes in Your name. Amen!