On Sunday, October 21, after the morning worship service at a women’s retreat I attended, a few of us stepped outside to enjoy the unusually warm sunshine (for October in Montreal!) and gorgeous fall foliage. While we were chatting, we heard unmistakable honking overhead and looked up to see an amazing site!
About 50 Canadian geese were flying in perfect V formation — one big V in front and a smaller V off to the side — clearly ready to migrate south for the winter. They were flying so low that we could see their white bellies and hear their enthusiastic honks.
Those of us watching all reacted in similar ways: marvelling at the excellent example of leadership, teamwork, encouragement, and even humility, as each goose knew its place and didn’t try to take over the situation. What an apt illustration for topics such as mentoring and discipleship, though you might not think so at first.
A few months ago, the Men’s and Women’s Fellowship groups at my church both had meetings that focussed on role models and how we, as maturing Christians, can be good role models to those around us, especially younger people.
While this is a very important issue, I believe we can’t assume this type of responsibility unless we, too, are teachable students, humble followers and willing disciples. How many of us have a mentor to teach us, challenge us, keep us accountable, and encourage us?
It’s natural for each one of us, especially after a time of spiritual growth, to feel eager to share with others our faith and the things we’ve learned… and this is definitely important! However, we put ourselves in danger if we do not make sure that we are first being properly fed and discipled.
We all need Christian friends who are genuinely concerned about our walk with God and who can honestly but lovingly check up on us… people who go beyond small talk and meaningless conversations, who are passionate about God and His Word, about prayer, worship, and fellowship… so much so that they cannot help but talk about these things when they are with other believers.
Just like geese, surround yourself with others who are growing in their faith and are actively serving God. Humble yourself enough to learn from a more mature believer, whether that’s your pastor, a teacher, a parent or even a friend. And be more eager to serve than to lead. God will place you at the front of the flock in His own time.
And by all means, “honk” loudly about your joy in Christ: God loves to hear our praise!