An Object Lesson from a Goose

When Mother Goose returned the clueless fish to the fish tank, half of them were instantly killed by the toxic effects of chlorine in their water. “Chlorine shock” was the term used by my bloggish friend Debra at BreatheLighter. It was an accident, of course, but stuff happens in aquarium life. As soon as Mother Goose remembered and quickly added the water conditioner, the remaining fish were saved from an untimely demise.

We all realize that under the right circumstances, chlorine is our friend. It’s the chemical that blasts all of the germs out of our drinking water, and makes our swimming pools a safer place to play. Few chemicals are as efficient at disinfecting our lives as chlorine.

However, chlorine has also been used as a weapon of warfare. During WWI, Germany first used chlorine as a chemical weapon. Canisters of chlorine gas were simply opened on the battlefield and the gas was dispersed by wind currents into the camps of the allied forces.

Poison gas used as a weapon in WWI.

It was a hideous weapon, and even today we do not lack for hideous weapons.

But getting back to my fish story, the fish who were exposed to the chlorine in their home could do nothing to protect themselves. In fact, they didn’t even know what was happening to them. The effects of the chlorine in their water were swift and deadly. They could not possibly fight back. They had no resources of their own to fight against chlorine — there was no way on earth these fish could neutralize their own water and make it habitable and safe. Helpless. At the mercy of the poison. It was a foregone conclusion that they would die. Hopeless.

Only the rapid application of the water conditioner saved the remaining fish.

Let’s look for a little life application now, shall we? (Note: if you are at all squeamish about discussing topics of a spiritual nature, this might be a good time for you to go and check your email or your facebook updates…:-) )

In our lives, in our world, we must deal with toxicity at many levels. There are pollutants and irritants in the air we breathe. We are bombarded with harmful solar radiation everyday. Depending on where you live on this Earth, you may have to fix your tainted water before it is drinkable. The food we consume can be full of pesticides and herbicides — harmful if not toxic to our bodies, to be sure.

Besides the poisons in our natural environment, we also must deal with the toxic effects of the media in our lives. The bad news and bad vibes spewed forth day and night from news sources and broadcast entertainment works as nerve gas (chlorine) on our minds — telling us that we are meaningless individuals with no purpose other than to consume and be consumed. The messages we receive from the voices around us can leak into our very souls, rendering us hopeless and helpless and pretty darn depressed.

And then there are the negatives within us. The feelings of guilt and shame that eat away at the joy in our lives, the burdens we carry as a result of our own personal sins and the toxic talk we feed ourselves everyday.

Our own individual fish tanks, our worlds, are pretty much filled with different forms of chlorine, and often we don’t even know what is hitting us, but we feel like we are sinking deeper and deeper. Unable to help ourselves.

But we try, don’t we?

There’s the old “denial” treatment. Just pretend that nothing is wrong and it will all go away.

Or just cover it all up with whatever makes us numb and happy.

Or find a religion that works for us. Talk to the “universe” or make a vow to Buddha or work really hard in our lives to be better persons and rise to the next level of play — like a video game, beat the bad guys, the monsters and bosses and level up. But there’s no winning level, is there? Just more of the same…

Even Jewel asked “Who will save your soul?”

Even Paul asked, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

There’s only one person who loves you enough to save you and rescue you from sin and poison and death. Only one God who has the power and the love to accomplish what we could never do on our own. Talk to Jesus about this today. He’s the simple solution, the “water conditioner” who can neutralize the poison in your heart and your life.

Trust me — Mother Goose speaks from experience here. His love has saved me. He loves you too.

Mother Goose Moments

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Cesare Pavese

We have moments stacked upon moments that make up the stuff our lives. Mother Goose has so many moments piled up in her heart and in her memory, it’s difficult sometimes to just pick one. The fun of my stories is the process of picking a moment out of my metaphorical hat and turning it over and over in my hand, looking for just the perfect perspective when the moment turns into a shiny gem of a story.

This morning during my prayers, God spoke to me in a quiet moment. He reminded me that it was twenty years ago today that I surrendered my life to Him. That was a moment worth remembering! On my bony goose knees with tears streaming, I declared that I couldn’t go another day without the help of Jesus. The moment is as clear in my memory as if it happened last night, but I sure couldn’t tell you much about the rest of the day.

There is a moment that I look forward to every autumn and cherish when it happens — the moment when I spot the Sandhill Cranes flying over us, heading for southern climes. Maybe it’s because I’m an amateur naturalist, maybe because I’m a woman, or maybe it’s because I’m a goose, but that moment when first I hear them calling to me from dizzying heights is always the highlight of fall for me. People stop their cars and stare at Mother Goose when the cranes are flying overhead because she’s flapping her wings, pointing up towards heaven and squawking as though the Cubs had just won the World Series.

That moment is always repeated in the early spring, of course, when the cranes are heading back up north.

The moment when we fall in love. The moment when we first see our newborn babies. The moment when we hear the sad news that our precious loved one has passed away. The moments of mothering, the moments of celebration and those of mourning. And all of the moments of traveling — our first airplane ride, our first train ride, our first boat ride. The moment when we see the ocean, the mountains or the Mississippi River for the first time.

Growing up in northern Minnesota, one of our favorite family moments occurred every time we traveled to Grandma’s house in Nimrod! Yes, there’s really a town named Nimrod — you can google it if you’d like… We had to sit in the small car (no SUV’s or minivans in the 60’s) for hours and hours, but finally we would round the last corner of the endless highway and somebody would shout out, “First to see Nimrod!!” In my memory, it’s truly a golden moment.

Take a moment today and count your blessings! Don’t worry about the days, but gather up all the golden moments that you can. Mother Goose will be sorting through her moments and waiting for the cranes to fly over.

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 79,306 honks to date

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March 2023