Wild Goose Chase

Wild Goose ChaseYou want an adventure of a life time. You dream about it. You think about what it would be and where it would be. You consider the cost. You save your pennies and dimes. You decide it’s worth the money and are ready to jump in. But, is it truly the greatest adventure? And, are you really willing to pay the price of the greatest adventure?

From “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson…

The rich young ruler written about in the Gospels had everything you could want – youth, wealth and power. However, he was still seeking something more. He came to Jesus asking what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus told the man what it would cost. And, even though Jesus was offering so much more – the adventure of a life time and beyond – the rich young ruler … turned it down.

The rich young ruler had the opportunity to hang with Jesus – a life of adventure that you can’t put a price tag on. We have to opportunity for what Jesus said would be even better – for the Holy Spirit to lead us in the adventure of pursuing God.

Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit that would catch many of us off guard. They called him “The Wild Goose”. A wild goose cannot be tracked or tamed. There is an element of danger and an air of unpredictability with such an animal.

Could you imagine a life based on the same concept – fueled by the Holy Spirit.

Unlike current society’s definition for a “wild goose chase,” the unpredictable and unknown direction of the Holy Spirit is really a part of God’s plan.  If you chase the Wild Goose, God will take you places you never could have imagined by paths you never knew existed.

“Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make us safe. Jesus died to make us dangerous” (p. 6).

6 Cages That Keep Us From Spiritual Adventure

However, there are six cages that keep us from chasing the Wild Goose. The author takes us through these cages and provides perspective on how to break free of each. The cages are:

  1. Cage of Responsibility. This cage is where God-ordained passions get buried by day-to-day responsibilities – responsibilities that become spiritual excuses.
  2. Cage of Routine. When a routine (some of which can be good) becomes just a routine for routine’s-sake, we need to disrupt it. Otherwise, sacred routines become empty rituals.
  3. Cage of Assumptions. This cage can be seen when we begin living in a box, losing imagination, assuming that you know how everything will work and how it will work out. In this cage, we put an eight-foot ceiling on what God can do.
  4. Cage of Guilt. “Nothing is as freeing as confessed sin. Nothing is as isolating as a guilty secret” (p. 111). “Guilt has a shrinking effect. It shrinks our dreams. It shrinks our relationships. It shrinks our hearts. It shrinks our lives to the size of our greatest failures” (p. 114).
  5. Cage of Failure. “Failure handled improperly can be devastating, but failure handled properly is the best thing that can happen to us” (p. 118). It may seem ironic, but, many Wild Goose chases begin with failure because our plans have to fail sometimes in order for God’s plans to succeed.
  6. Cage of Fear. Many times we let our fears guide our lives. We become so afraid of being wrong, that we end up not doing anything at all. “We need to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death…we need to start playing offense with our lives. The world needs more daring people with daring plans” (p.13).

As we break through these cages, we begin to roam free with the Wild Goose. In chasing the Wild Goose, we begin to live the spiritual adventure that God destined us to.

8 favorite quotes from the book (a few of many):

  1. “We start dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don’t really start living until we find something worth dying for” (p. 16).
  2. “If you allow less important responsibilities to displace more important ones, then you are practicing…irresponsible responsibility” (p. 17-18).
  3. “When it comes to doing the will of God, God-ordained passions are far more important than any human qualification we can bring to the table” (p.20).
  4. “Prayer makes us spiritually fertile” (p. 26).
  5. “Who you are isn’t the issue; the issue is whose you are!” (p. 65).
  6. “Nothing reconditions our spiritual reflexes like prayer. Start praying for the difficult people in your life, and it will change the way you feel about them” (p. 100).
  7. “As long as you hold on to your staff, you’ll never know what you could have accomplished with God’s help” (p. 67).
  8. “The primary reason most of us don’t see God moving is simply because we aren’t moving. If you want to see God move, you need to make a move!” (p. 33).

I highly recommend this book. It reminds us that God has so much more for us in life than just a mundane way of mere existence. The book also gives us a place to start in seeking the adventure that so many of us desire.

Question: If you have read this book, what made the biggest impression on you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

12 Comments to “Wild Goose Chase”

  • Brandon May 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Great stuff! I think that the cage of routine is a big one!

    • Steven Cribbs May 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      I think I cycle through all of the cages from time to time 🙂

  • Adam May 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the review. Sounds good. Just added it to me “To Read” list.

    • Steven Cribbs May 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      My “To Read” list keeps growing – which is cool. Unfortunately, my pace of reading can’t keep up with the pace of adding to the list 😉

  • TNeal May 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Steven–your review whets my reading appetite to consume a book I hadn’t even heard of. Your quotes from “Wild Goose Chase” are substantive in themselves. Put them in the context of a whole book and, I’m certain, the simple truths expressed in one line deepen with the reading. Good stuff to consider, and, yes, this one goes on my to-read list.–Tom

    • Steven Cribbs May 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      I spent a month with this book – not because it took that long to read; but, because I kept going back to review what I had read and the notes I had taken.

      If you like this one, you may also want to check out Mark’s other books – including the one right before this one called “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.” I haven’t yet read his other books; but, I hear they are good – and, they are on my to-read list!

      • Jeff Randleman May 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

        Having not read this one yet, I can’t say for sure, but so far… my favorite Batterson book is Primal. Life changer!

        • Steven Cribbs May 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

          I have heard Primal is good. I have also heard Soul Print is good. Have you read, or heard anything about, Soul Print?

  • Jeff Randleman May 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for a great review! One more book to add to my ever-growing list of books to read…

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