Whatever cage holds us back

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By Dave Henning / October 7, 2020

“Until we come out of whatever cage holds us back, we will live unfruitful and unfulfilled lives.  But start chasing the Wild Goose and you will come alive in ways you’ve never previously experienced.  Real life and real adventure begin the moment you are born of the Spirit and begin chasing the Wild Goose.”- Mark Batterson

“Today is the first day of your life because it has never been before, and today is the last day of your life because it will never be again.”- Frederick Buechner

In the Epilogue (“Madonna of the Future”) of Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson begins with a story Henry James wrote titled “The Madonna of the Future.”

It’s about an artist who devotes her whole life to one single painting.  But when the artist dies, people discover that she never painted anything on her canvas.  Thus, she never finished because she never started.

Furthermore, in the nineteenth century historian Lord Acton borrowed Henry James’ title to describe his own life work.  Although Acton authored numerous lectures, essays, and reviews, he never published a book.  In fact, many people referred to Acton’s life work, A History of Liberty, as the greatest book never written.  Imperfect material discouraged Acton, and the promise of new facts and ideas yet to come delayed his work.

So, Pastor Batterson asks, what unpainted canvas or unwritten book collects dust in your life?  Because many people get stuck at this point.  The author explains:

“We fail to take the first step, so the Wild Goose chase never even begins.  Instead of seeking out adventures we settle for routine.  Instead of playing offense with our lives, we play defense.  And instead of living by faith, we let fear dictate our decisions.”

In conclusion, Mark underscores that all chases leave you feeling empty – with one exception.  The Wild Goose.  For the Wild Goose remains eternally elusive.

Today’s question: What, if anything, keeps you from exiting whatever cage holds you back?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Wild Goose Chase

About the author

Dave Henning

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