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.

I Can Do It Myself

God, inspiration, unique gifts, working togetherWhile chatting with the mother of a toddler I mentioned what a good helper her little one was. She smiled as she agreed and then added that her daughter was becoming very independent. It seemed her favourite phrase was, “I do it myself.”

I said, “I still sometimes want to do things on my own when I should be asking for help.”

This isn’t something I readily admit, even to myself. When I compare my stubborn streak to that of a small child it’s time to take a closer look at my motives.

Children are seeking independence and a sense of accomplishment when they insist on doing something on their own. They also give in and accept help when they need it.

I can’t speak for others, but for me I know that pride gets in the way. If I admit to needing help does that mean I’m not smart enough or strong enough to handle this on my own? Will others judge me and see me as weak or incompetent?

In reality, I am the one judging myself. I need to stop and realize that I’m not meant to be a one woman show. God created each one of us with unique gifts. I may be good at one thing, while you excel at another. Together we are much stronger.

For this reason, I’m setting myself up for defeat and disappointment when I think I can do everything on my own. Instead I need to combine my strengths and abilities with those of others. When I pray for wisdom, God will lead me to those he wants me to partner with. The real strength comes from following his guidance and not thinking I need to do everything by myself.

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:14,15 NIV)