Pastor Rio Espulgar
Minister for the Seventh-day Adventist, Burnt Lane, Gorleston
Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher once told a story about a flock of barnyard geese in Denmark. Every Sunday the geese would gather in the barnyard near the feeding
trough. One of their number, a ‘preaching goose’, would struggle up on to the top rail of the fence and lecture the geese about the glories of goosedom.
He would honk about how wonderful it was to be a goose, rather than a chicken or a turkey. He reminded them of their great heritage and told them of the marvelous possibilities in their future.
Occasionally, while he was preaching, a flock of wild geese winging their way south from Sweden across the Baltic Sea on their way to sunny France would fly overhead in a marvelous V formation thousands of feet in the air. All the geese would excitedly look and say to one another. ‘That's who we really are! We are not destined to spend our lives in this stinking barnyard. Our destiny is to fly’.
But then the wild geese would disappear from sight, their honking echoing across the horizon. The barnyard geese would look around at their comfortable surroundings, sigh and return to the mud of the barnyard.
As humans we expect growth in all aspects of life. We believe that our children will grow as the years go by. We assume young adults will gain knowledge and understanding as they advance through university. We hope that one once underdeveloped city would soon be prosper and become capable of providing a lot of jobs and opportunities.
The Christian life is no different. Spiritual growth is an expected process. In Ephesians 4:11-15, apostle Paul tells us about the gifts Jesus gave to His people, the church. These gifts equip the believers to build up the church to grow towards maturity and to avoid being deceived and childish behavior. God does not only desires growth, but He has made provision for it. When a person accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, he becomes Christ’s disciple. A disciple is like an apprentice, in other words a ‘learner’, who attached himself to a teacher. Becoming a believer is a big step, but it doesn't suddenly make us a mature Christian disciple. It merely initiates a growth process. It is like a new birth-the growing process is changing but tremendously rewarding. This path of growth is our opportunity to mature and grow, find joy for ourselves and become a source of help and healing for the world.
One of the ways to grow or become mature in our Christian journey is to use God’s given talents. For example, if someone has a gift in singing, he or she can use that talent in uplifting the hearts of the people. Maybe others are good in speaking, making friends or performing a certain skill. Whatever talents we may have, God has given us those talents for a purpose and that is to use them to bless others. By doing so, we do two things: one is building up the church- the people we minister to and the other is building up ourselves.