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  • Writer's picturePeacemaker

Wildgoose Chase

Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect. Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit - An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it is like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something...Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: ADVENTURE.

"But too many among us end up settling for spiritual mediocrity instead of striving for spiritual maturity. Jesus speaks to that deep-seated longing for adventure by challenging us to come out of the cage. But coming out of the cage means giving up the very thing in which we find our security and identity outside Christ."

p9, Wild Goose Chase

"Many get started and quit...They do not continue because their broken heart overwhelms their hope. They do not have the inner strength to carry them through to the end. Jesus will bind up your wounds and heal your bruises. His word is medicine for your soul (Proverbs 4:20-22)...God gathered up those wasted years and made my mess become my message."

p221, Beauty from Ashes

"A Wild Goose chase isn’t a mad dash. It’s more of a triathlon. And pacing yourself for the journey is critical...When we don’t pace ourselves, we tend to miss divine appointments right and left. In fact, they seem like human interruptions...the key is slowing down your pace, taking off your sandals and experiencing God right here, right now."

p52-5, Wild Goose Chase

“Earth’s crammed with heaven And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes

Browning, Dictatorship of the Ordinary, Wild Goose Chase

"I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe in providence. I believe in a sovereign God who sets up divine appointments half a world away. He can use any one of us to touch anyone else in the world. And if you listen to the still small voice and follow the lead of the Wild Goose, you never know where it will lead. But God will write His-story through your life!" (p52)

"People cannot discover new lands until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide

So, here I was in Toronto, on the horizon of a new future. I had left the shores of what I knew behind and embarked on a journey into the darkness. I had looked to the Captain of my soul to lead me. I had star gazed and dreamed, and sung my way through the storm. Even when it felt as if I was barely breathing, I had chosen to worship with my surrender, when words were not enough to express the deep emotion I experienced at times.

I clung to His promises -

"Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness,

Fear will never conquer me, for you already have!

You remain close to me and lead me all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace.The comfort of Your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely for You are near.

So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life." Psalm 23:4-6

Canadian Geese in Toronto

"Waiting on God, according to Scripture, is not a passive, vacuous state, but rather an active process of asking, seeking, and engaging with His Spirit... I knew it was time to start waiting in this way; we also knew it was time to break a few rules. It’s often said that the ancient Celtic church symbolized the Holy Spirit not as a domesticated dove but as a wild goose. We decided therefore to embark upon a wild goose chase, following His leading..." (p33)

And here is the part in the book that brought me to tears...

"If you want to impact someone’s life, love them when they least expect it and least deserve it. I wonder if we’re afraid of loving people when they don’t deserve it because it might be perceived as a tacit approval of their actions... God’s love is proactive. He doesn’t wait for us to get our act together. God always makes the first move. And we’re called to follow suit."

(From someone) who accepted the challenge: "I am currently on an airplane headed west to meet a man I haven’t placed my eyes on in twenty years. The man is my dad. One of your sermons began with the process that brought me to this point. It became evident to me that the single greatest fear in my life was abandonment. This fear shaped every aspect of how I viewed the world. There has always been a lingering sense in my heart that I was likely to love someone, not have my love accepted, and then be abandoned. My perception short-circuited every meaningful relationship I had... Your message revealed to me how to remove from my life the anchor that was keeping me from accomplishing what God has in store for me. If I was going to love anyone “who least expected it and least deserved it,” that person needed to be my dad. So here I am on a plane bound to meet a man I last saw (when I was 12), trusting the Lord and desiring to realize the fullness of seeing His work with all of my heart." (p114)

And here I was. I had heeded the Scriptures to go the extra mile, and had travelled over 8000 miles to meet a man, a stranger... my father.

"If you have the courage to forgive, it will set you free.

And it will recondition your heart in the process.

Guilt has a shrinking effect...

Grace has the opposite effect.

Message in a teabag

It expands our dreams. It expands our relationships. It expands our hearts. And it gives us the courage to chase the Wild Goose all the way to the ends of the earth" (p114). I was learning to travel light.

It's about travelling with luggage, not baggage #grahamcooke

"Disorientation is natural and healthy. It is a normal part of chasing the Wild Goose. We won’t know exactly where we’re going much of the time, but that disorientation develops our dependence upon God. And it is our dependence upon God, not our best-laid plans, that will get us where God wants us to go.

God is setting up divine appointments all the time. And as long as our motives stay pure and our spirits stay sensitive, He will make sure we meet the right people at the right time. And that ought to buoy our spirits even when it feels like the ship is sinking!" (p130)

"Home Sweet Home" Canada Geese Sign in High Park

Follow Me, I Don’t Know Where I’m Going #LanceWallnau

Beautiful Lake Ontario

Stand on the shores of a site unseen

The substance of this dwells in me

Cause my natural eyes only go skin deep

But the eye’s of my heart anchor the sea

Plumbing the depths to the place in between

The tangible world and the land of a dream

Because everything here ain’t quite it seems

There’s more beneath the appearance of things

A beggar could be king within the shadows of a wing

And wisdom will honor everyone who will learn

To listen, to love, and to pray and discern

And to do the right thing even when it burns

And to live in the light through each treacherous turn

A man is weak, but the spirit yearns

To keep on course from the bow to the stern

And to throw overboard every selfish concern

That tries to work for what can’t be earned

Sometimes the only way to return is to go

Where the winds will take you

And to let go, of all, you cannot hold onto

For the hope, beyond, the blue


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