Remember the story Aesop told about the goose and the golden egg? The implications and applications are powerful, so let’s take another look.
The fable is about a poor farmer who one day discovered in the nest of his pet goose a glittering golden egg. At first, he thought it must be some kind of trick. But as he started to throw the egg aside, he had second thoughts and took it in to be appraised instead.
The egg was pure gold! The farmer couldn’t believe his good fortune. He became even more incredulous the following day when the experience was repeated. Day after day, he awakened to rush to the nest and find another golden egg. He became fabulously wealthy; it all seemed too good to be true.
But with his increasing wealth came greed and impatience. Unable to wait day after day for the golden eggs, the farmer decided to kill the goose and get them all at once. But when he opened the goose, he found it empty. There were no golden eggs. And now there was no way to get any more. The farmer had destroyed the goose that produced them.
The lessons we can learn from this story are innumerable. Let me just mention a few.
LESSON: When God wants us to have “golden eggs,” rather than simply giving us what we want, He sends us a “goose” that can lay them. He then makes us responsible for caring for the “goose.”
LESSON: The way to insure an endless supply of good things (“golden eggs”) from our bodies, our relationships, our finances, and our church, is to take care of God’s channels (the “goose”) for receiving those good things.
LESSON: (Congress, are you listening?) When we care more for the blessings (“golden eggs”) than we do for the source of those blessings (the “goose”), we eventually lose both.
LESSON: Most of the exciting, glamorous, enjoyable things in life (“golden eggs”) take place as a direct result of consistent, non-glamorous, day-in-and-day-out work (feeding the “goose”). To receive the golden eggs, the farmer had to have three essential ingredients: patience, daily contact with the goose, and care for the goose. So also, in our finances, our relationships, and our personal lives, we experience God’s blessing as a result of patience, daily disciplines, and constant care. That isn’t always exciting or glamorous. But it is essential.
LESSON: You can’t short-circuit God’s plan. The Israelites learned that when they tried to store up manna. The farmer learned that when he killed his goose because he was in a hurry for eggs. And you and I will learn that over and over again when we try to short-cut, outsmart, or presume upon God.
LESSON: Your greatest sources of joy and blessing (“golden eggs”) often are produced by that which is most familiar and ordinary in your life (your “geese”). Look for the gold in those places first – your family, your friends, your home, your work, and your gifts and talents.
LESSON: God is not a goose, or a golden egg dispenser. He is God! But He has created a framework by which you and I may experience His benefits and His blessings. And that framework always involves four crucial ingredients: the golden egg, the goose, God… and you.
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