(This article originally appeared on the Texas Baptists web site.)
My daughter, Tabitha, and I sat on the bank of the San Gabriel River the other day to watch the geese. From the start, it was an odd day. Normally, the geese rush visitors in hopes of bread crumbs or other food. No rush on this day.
There actually were pieces of bread scattered on the ground near us that the water fowl were ignoring. They ignored us, as well. They were, rather, enamored with each other.
We gradually realized that “enamored” was indeed the correct word. Spring had come to the river, and the geese couldn’t care less about food. They had their minds on mating.
Some of the animals already had paired up and were content to swim apart from the others. You would think they were human teenagers seeking to grab some time alone to get to know each other.
There were several geese; however, that clearly had not made their spring choices yet. Three males made a particular show for one rather striking white goose. The “boys” dipped their heads in swooping arcs, diving with their beaks repeatedly as if to show their prowess in procuring food from the river. One started it, then the others followed as if to say, “I can do that, too. Just watch.”
The female played rather coy, with her head held high in the air as she stood on the bank and watched.
Next, the males flapped their broad wings wildly and used their feet to sort of dance on the water – one after the other. They all looked equally proficient, but maybe the girl goose could see subtle differences in technique.
After watching their escapades for some 30 minutes, Tabitha exclaimed, “It looks like they’re on spring break!” Literally. They had taken a break from the bread of their normal existence in order to pursue their God-given instincts.
God has made an amazing world. The Apostle Paul said, “Ever since the creation of the world [God’s] eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made” (Romans 1:20, NRSV).
Spring is a special time of year to observe this truth as the world around us comes out of its winter sleep. Enjoy and worship, even while sitting beside a river.