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I'm pretty much a typist for the Holy Spirit. I try to put those things into words in a blog called Jane's Journey. I have another blog for recipes called My Life in Food. Also Really Cool Stuff features Labyrinths and other things like how to fry an egg on the sidewalk.(first step: don't do it on the sidewalk, use a skillet) Come along with me as I careen through life.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

My Wild Goose Chase

Hello friends.  I'm on another adventure and thinking I will post to my blog to keep you updated with photos and philosophies.  Not everybody I know is on Facebook so I'll put it all here and I can send the link out on email so everybody can get all the juicy bits.  

The first thing I need to do is explain the Wild Goose Chase part.  This trip was organized by Grace Presbytery and composed of mostly presbytery staff but they let in a few civilians like me.  There are about 28 of us in all.  We might end up a rowdy bunch.

Because this rowdy bunch is also religious they are doing study and what better subject for a place like the island of Iona, Scotland than the Holy Spirit?

I've heard Iona described as a Thin Place:  one of the places on earth where the distance between God and humanity is so thin you can almost reach out and touch the Divine.  I have always wanted to go to Iona.  I want to touch God.  I want to go to this wild place and feel God's Holy Spirit blow against my cheek as the wind blew into the disciples in that upper room at Pentecost.

The most common symbol of the Holy Spirit is the dove.  But I recently found out some people think of the Holy Spirit as a Wild Goose.  Instead of a mild mannered and gentle thing like a dove the Holy Spirit can be wild and blow hither and yon changing direction daring us to chase after it in a way that requires all our senses and determination.  Of course, we need alert bodies and quick bodies.  I get exhausted just thinking about it.  To be honest, I'm not sure I'm up for this project right now.  I may be getting too old to go chasing around after something like that.  Send me in when you've got the dove back. Right now I've got a bad case of jetlag.

Other sources tell me that the wild goose, in addition to the dove, is a Celtic Christian symbol for the Holy Spirit. Sometimes God's Spirit hovers comfortingly like a dove. But the Spirit also surprises us and disturbs our plans. Like a wild and unpredictable goose, the Holy Spirit sweeps in unexpected, astonishing directions.

Whereas the dove has a reputation for gentleness and calmness, a wild goose will attack if it feels threatened. It’s wild and untamed. In the same way, the Celtic believers in the British Isles believed that the Holy Spirit is unpredictable, upsetting the status quo and leading people toward a new adventure with God. They found evidence for this interpretation in John 3:8:

“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Another blog that I read, Kathy Schiffer, posed the question,  "So what best represents the Holy Spirit? On the one hand, the Holy Spirit is gentle as a dove — he can come silently, planting the seeds of wisdom in our hearts. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit is sometimes rambunctious as a goose — wresting us from our sedentary ways, disturbing the status quo, injecting the fire of God’s love."

Interestingly, the ancient Celtic people saw the Holy Spirit not as a hovering white dove but as a “wild goose.” The meaning behind this peculiar choice is because they saw how the Holy Spirit has a tendency to disrupt and surprise. The Holy Spirit moves in our lives in an unexpected fashion, similar to the actions of a wild goose.

It sounds like "The chase is on."

I've been taking notes and started having spiritual experiences five minutes after I left my driveway headed for the airport.  And, ever the one to place my total trust in God, I have already managed to get lost in London more times than I can count. Then, in one trip alone, I ended up on the other side of London, ran my phone battery down to nothing, had my credit card fail the cab driver with no actual cash to pay him.  Yet, here I am back at the hotel room alive and well and in a good mood;  ready to re-charge my phone and head out for round two.  (The credit card eventually kicked in after re-booting his terminal three times. We all know I'm too old to survive on my looks alone.)

I'm going to post this now and go get some more material. Stay tuned.


Mickey Stuart said...

Hi Jane. This is great. I look forward to following your trip. I really enjoy your adventures alongside the Holy Spirit. You Presbys sound a lot like us Methodists! Be sure to look BOTH ways before you cross the street in London.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jane. Hope things are going well and you hooked up with the group. Prayers for blessings for all of you!