Living Beyond the Tough Stuff: Lessons From a Limping Goose
Every difficult life experience affects us, it affects the way we “walk”. Sometimes a loss or a wound is so great that it affects every single step we take for the rest of our lives. I feel that way. But when the Spirit of God breathes upon us, gets under our wings and lifts us off the ground we soar, our wound doesn’t stop us, we equalize, our limp becomes irrelevant.
The other day I sat in the conference chapel of our office, looking out the window facing the parking lot. A flock of geese worked their way from the adjoining property onto our parking lot. They picked at the ground and they leisurely waddled across the grass and asphalt.
One goose was wounded. It walked with a decided limp. It struggled to keep up, but it stayed with the flock. I’m not sure what happened to the goose. Perhaps a car clipped it, maybe it almost lost its life in a struggle with a dog. Whatever happened, it’s life was forever changed by what was most likely a brief encounter.
The goose went on with life, stayed with the flock, and kept doing what geese do. The other geese seemed oblivious to the limping goose, it was just another goose.
It occurred to me that when this goose walks it is different, it limps, it is wounded. When the goose flies it looks just like the other geese, you can tell no difference.
I live with a limp. Not physically, but I “walk” with a limp. Actually, most everyone who has engaged life “walks” with some kind of a limp. But we can soar when we transcend the confines of the temporal and move into God’s intentions for our lives.
My lessons from a limping goose:
Ok, so you’ve been wounded, just live life and limp.
The fact that their comrade was limping didn’t seem to bother the other geese. Sometimes we live in our pain to such a degree that we let the rest of the world walk away from us. Engage. Really, your limp doesn’t keep you from engaging life.
The limping goose did not flap its wings and try to constantly draw attention to the fact that it was limping.
When the goose was first injured it probably did flap its wings a lot, keeping pressure off the wound. As time and pain passed the goose normalized. Now, the other geese are like, “oh yeah, that’s just George, he limps, whatever, he’s cool.” At some point we merge back into life with our limps and scars and we roll on. God will use our limps and scars to His glory and our transformation forever, but it becomes a vital accessory and not the focus.
There is a difference between walking and flying.
The events that slam us in this temporary realm (2 Corinthians [4:16]-18) do not dictate what God can do in us and through us. We equalize when the wind of the Spirit gets under our wings and we lift off the ground because we all depend upon the same wind when we fly.
We have to engage both the ground and the sky.
We have to navigate the realities of the world in which we live and we must engage the sky. As long as we live as human beings we will engage the ground, but as followers of Christ we need to learn to engage the sky. Limits yield to the power of the Spirit, present realities yield to the Lordship of Christ.
Yes, I have a limp, and you do too, most likely. I have decided that my limp doesn’t limit me, in fact it only helps me realize how normal I am when I fly. My limp makes me want to fly more. Perhaps that is one purpose of wounds, to teach us that flying is what we’re were really created to do. After all, we can fly and when we like the ground a little less we spend more time in the sky, and that is what we were meant to do–fly.