Prepare for Takeoff

naature Canadian Geese have been absent from my local park for a few weeks. I thought they’d headed south for the winter but recently discovered that was not the case.

Several formations could be seen in the air near a large retention pond at the side of the highway. As I neared the pond, I was surprised to see the number of geese upon the water. There must have been hundreds of them.

It seemed that this was their practice area. I was fascinated to watch as small groups would take off, circle the area in ever widening loops, change leaders in their formation and land again. Honks of what I took to be encouragement and support, came from those on the water. It was as if they were cheering each other on.

Once again, the geese were showing me the importance of community. They were preparing to take off on an important journey and time spent practicing together would help ensure a more successful trip.

What do you do when you’re preparing for a challenging new part of your life’s journey? Do you stress and attempt to figure it out on your own? Or, do you seek advice and encouragement from those who understand and support your goal?

I have had others come alongside me when the route to my destination was unclear. Sometimes they had previously travelled this way and were willing to share what they had learned. Other times I was asked questions that helped me gain clarity. Always, their encouragement enabled me to reach new heights.

It is my desire to be part of a supportive community for others. I’m happy to encourage and pay forward what I have learned. My support in helping someone prepare for takeoff helps both of us to soar.

From the Vineyard

Jesus, inspiration, lesson, assisting
picture from rgbstock.com
Someone who had been visiting Europe told a story about the wine in a particular country. It seems that they made very good white wine but the red wine was terrible. The red grapes that could be grown there were not suitable for wine making.

In order to get good grapes for the white wine, both red and green grapes had to be planted. They were in alternating rows; one row of red, the next of green and so on. The red grapes were discarded afterwards, but something about having them grow next to the green grapes made the green ones better.

It was interesting to think of half of the crop being unusable. It was only planted to make the other half better.

My husband and I talked about this and about how it could also relate to our lives. Sometimes our sole purpose is to assist someone else in achieving their potential. That means I can still add value even though I didn’t think I was doing anything outstanding on my own.

To me, the lesson of this story is that it’s not all about me. Sometimes I need to put myself aside and focus on helping others become the best that they can be.
This must be what Jesus meant in the Bible when he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I need to adhere to this and trust that when the time is right he will send someone to come alongside me to assist me in reaching my full potential.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 NLT