It’s never too late to find your way back home
At times you can hear them before you see them, flying in the large V pattern, maybe one kilometre high, heading south of course. The honking geese signal the transition between summer and fall and as much as we don’t like this `signal’ still it is beautiful to hear and see.
Just how did they come up with this idea of the V formation? Somehow they’ve learned to do less work. After all, flying the V is like walking through the snow with your parents when you were a kid. By following in their footprints it makes it much easier to walk.
This V formation along with a favourable wind enables geese to fly more than 1000 km in one day. Where do they get that stamina? I wouldn’t even want to drive that far in one day, especially on highway 400 which often resembles the `parking lot’ formation.
It is more amazing that first-year birds can find their winter home despite never having seen it before. And then they return the following spring to where they were born.
Even with a GPS we sometimes don’t do that well.
Do the geese use the sun, the stars, the earth’s magnetic field or previously seen landmarks? We don’t really know. A recent idea suggests their retinas, the photosensitive nerve layer deep in the eye, acts as a chemical compass that interacts with the magnetic field. It’s merely an educated guess. Given the fact that we know about one percent of how the eye works my guess is that we have a bit more to learn.
I sometimes think of the prophet Isaiah’s words [chapter one] when he says that animals know where and when to go unlike many people who stray blindly through bumpy back roads lost and lonely. He records, “My people don’t recognize my care for them . . . loaded with burdens of guilt . . . turning their backs on the Lord.”
And yet, we do have a navigational tool to help us. The apostle Matthew records the words of Jesus, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Look it up for yourself in God’s GPS, the Bible. It’s in Matthew chapter eleven and there is more there to read. It could help you find your way `home’.