Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things- 1st Cor.4-7
As retired farmers my husband and I have had many chances to watch the geese fly over our fields looking for food. What was more amazing was how they flew in a V formation that demonstrated the selflessness of each goose as they cared for one another. As I looked up it somehow reminded me of our marriage of 46 years and how the importance of teamwork saw us through many times.
So why a V and what’s this got to do with marriage?
Maybe if we thought like a goose; marriage would be so much easier! It was brought to my attention that when each goose flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in a V; the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. So, if a husband and wife stand strong together as a team, uplifting one another, co-operating to achieve each other’s goals, their marriage will be strengthened. God reassures us that when two or three are gathered in His name, there He will be. Depending on God and on each other will make our journey easier until we reach our final destination.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone, and quickly returns to its V. Sometimes, a husband and wife fall out of agreement, trying to become independent of each other, thinking that doing it alone might work better. Eventually, they find themselves looking for something else to be dependent upon, either another person or alcohol or gambling etc. to lift them up instead. We are reminded to have common sense like a goose – make a commitment to remain in the formation as a team, unified, accepting each other, helping each other. This lesson also helps us to help others to soar higher.
When the lead bird tires, it rotates back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. So like the geese, husbands and wives should not be afraid to take turns doing the hard tasks, sharing in leadership. We grow when we are open to be interdependent upon each other’s skills, capabilities, unique gifts, talents and resources.
Geese honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. So maybe I could try honking a little more for my husband or wife? Encouragement that is genuine and appreciative of each others’ core values keeps us flying high!
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock. This is so symbolic of the strength of a family, a flock that sticks together and watches out for each other’s needs. A selfless act of love that will always require sacrifice. Also very symbolic of the marriage covenant we vowed to God and each other to love and honor one another through sickness and in health, through good times and in bad, till death do us part.
May we all think like a goose!