The creative process is not for the faint of heart. At the beginning, it seems you’re in control–your mind and hands run the show. But soon, a tiny, tentative playfulness begins between your heart and your medium (whether it be language, musical notes or strokes on a page) and before long you’re swept up in a dance which seems at the same time yours and yet entirely outside of your control. You swear you never heard this song or learned these moves and yet, here you are, stomping and humming a song from heaven. It may not be perfect but it sure feels right.
This kind of inspiration which refuses to be confined has been likened to a Wild Goose. Like in this beautiful, Josh Ritter song which ends with the question,
Oh what kind of law draws the apples to the ground?
And what kind of love draws the orbits?
And where, oh where, went your wild goose?
And what made you once think you could hold it?
Anyone who has been caught up in a creative moment is familiar with this breathless chase-dance. And anyone who knows that dance and who also has been swept up in the dance with our God, recognizes some common steps. And so it’s only natural that His Holy Spirit has also been called a Wild Goose. So, whether you’re planning a Holy-Spirit themed worship experience or just want to know more about this “Goose God” everyone is talking about, here are a few wild-goose inspired words, sights and sounds to spark your imagination. Is that the beating of wings or the beginnings of a rhythm? Will you dance along? Where will the Goose lead you?
“I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven.” John 1:32
Enjoy Wild-Goose inspired art.
Read Wild-Goose Wisdom
The Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit that has always intrigued me. They called Him An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ I love the imagery and implications. The name hints at the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit. Much like a wild goose the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed.
Mark Batterson, “Wild Goose Chase”
Find the hidden Geese on the pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Pray a Wild-Goose prayer
Wild Goose of the Almighty
Be my eye in the dark places
Be my flight in the trapped places
Be my host in the wild places
Be my formation in the lost places.
Be my brood in the barren places.
Ray Simpson, “A Holy Island Prayer Book”
Listen to a haunting Wild-Goose song, by Iona.
See geese in flight from the movie, Winged Migration.
Our Wild-Goose God is out of our hands. The best way to learn his ways is by letting him surprise and stretch us. Are we open-hearted enough to join the chase?