Geese Herding 101

Zach has rightfully been giving me a hard time about not having posted anything recently, so I thought I would do a quick one this morning.

Yesterday we went to Paintsville Lake State Park to record, as is our summertime custom. When we decided to “take our show on the road,” we had envisioned moving around to different locations. We have never recorded anywhere but PLSP. It’s quiet (relatively so), peaceful, beautiful, and just a wonderful environment. But yesterday we beheld a strange sight. One of the caretakers was riding around on his ATV herding the geese into the lake. I don’t know why. Maybe he was tired of their noise. Maybe he thought they needed exercise. Maybe he doesn’t like geese. But whatever the reason, there he was, herding the geese into the water on the back of his ATV.

And as soon as he left, the geese came right back.

And you guessed it. We’re going to talk about sin.

Sometimes we succeed in chasing sin away, only to have it immediately return. We may remove it in a decisive manner, with the power and roar of an ATV. We may feel accomplished and satisfied. Then, bam. There it is again.

The problem the guy had with herding the geese was that once he left, there wasn’t anything there to keep them from returning. The problem we may be having with sin may be much the same. And it may even be, as Jesus describes in Matthew 12:43-45, that the end result is worse than the beginning. Talk about discouraging!

You can herd geese all you want (if you’re in to that sort of thing), but unless you goose-proof your shore, they will keep coming back. You can chase sin away all you want, but unless you do something to prevent that sin from returning, it will just keep coming back. So break the cycle. You may need to change your habits, your schedule, your attitude, or even your companions. You may even need to erect some barriers to keep those things at a safe distance.

Let’s be honest: herding geese on the back of an ATV is not only a lazy man’s way of doing business, but in the long run it isn’t very effective. If you’re going to chase sin away (and you should), don’t just shoo it off the shore into the water, but get rid of it for good.

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