Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure . . . (Multnomah Books, 2008)
Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in our nation’s capital, wrote Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God in 2008. Mark considers his first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day a prequel to this book. First, Pastor Batterson explains the title of the book. Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit An Geadh Glas – the Wild Goose. And, quite frankly, Mark cannot think of better description of what it’s like to pursue the Spirit’s leading through life. But sometimes we settle for inverted Christianity. Consequently, we expect the Holy Spirit to follow us and serve our purposes. In contrast, engaging in a Wild Goose chase means giving up the very thing in which we find our identity and security outside of Christ.
Above all, the author stresses, you really don’t start living until you find something worth dying for. Therefore, pursuing God-ordained passions forms an essential part of chasing the Wild Goose. Furthermore, when God places a passion in your heart, that passion becomes your responsibility. Also, when you delight yourself in the Lord, God literally downloads new desires. In addition, those downloads function as internal compasses as you chase the Wild Goose. And keeping a good attitude in a bad situation serves as one of the greatest acts of worship. So, worship God on your way to the Promised Land. Because where you stand right now is holy ground – a holy moment. In the process, you avoid seeing the sacred as routine.
However, assumptions take all the mystery and majesty out of life. As a result, God not only disrupts our routines, but He also challenges our assumptions. For our assumptions put us in a cage. Faith, then, involves trusting God more than we trust our assumptions. But when we follow the Wild Goose, imagination overtakes memory. With assumptions, memory overtakes imagination. Putting your faith in Christ allows Him to redefine what is and is not possible. In a similar manner, part of spiritual growth consists of recognizing our conditioned responses to life and letting God recondition those reflexes in need of change. Until we realize the full extent of our sin, we cannot appreciate the full extent of God’s grace.
Finally, Pastor Batterson underscores, there’s no greater moment of feeling than all of our guilt meeting all of God’s grace. For God’s grace expands our hearts and gives us courage to chase the Wild Goose. God’s grace = the difference between drowning in guilt and swimming in gratitude. And God’s far more concerned with who we’re becoming than where we’re going. Certainly, life contains unpredictable twists and turns. Either they drive you crazy or you learn to enjoy the journey. Therefore, Mark exhorts:
“[Jesus] certainly didn’t die on the cross to tame us. He died to make us dangerous. He died to invite us into a life of spiritual adventure. And if you will have the courage to come out of the cage and chase the Wild Goose, life will turn into another day, another adventure!”