Posted by: alliehope | October 1, 2008

On the Nightstand: Wild Goose Chase

Note: this is where I’ll be putting my thoughts on books that I’ve read. I’ve got several in my queue waiting to be processed into some sort of coherent review. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading about them–if not, reading them.

That said, this one’s about an unusual book: Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase. (If the link doesn’t work, hit up for it. I might have screwed up putting in the HTML! Oooops.)

From the outset, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill book on discipleship (aka following Jesus). It starts out introducing a Celtic term for the Holy Spirit: An-Geadh-Glas, or, the Wild Goose. I had a little problem (traditional Methodist coming out in me) of likening the Holy Spirit to a common bird, much less one–thinking of the ugly brown Canadian geese that plague my area–so dirty, so seemingly feckless. I thought, What the…what’s with that image?

Then I looked deeper, and got into the book itself. I began to see through Batterson’s writing just how accurate that image is. I realized that when I follow the Holy Spirit, He shows me just enough of Himself to let me know where He is, but is never so close to me that I can finally catch Him. It is precisely this image of pursuit that makes the book so fascinating–as well as the things that lock me, and so many others, out of the only chase worth pursuing: that of following God.

His theory, and he’s right on about this, is that “we have clipped the wings of the Wild Goose and settled for something less–much less–than what God originally intended for us” (pgs. 1-2). However, as he’s very clear about, the book isn’t about us; it’s about God, and what He intends to do with–and through–our one and only lives, and the cages we lock ourselves into: responsibility, routine, assumptions, guilt, failure, and fear.

When we live in these cages, I began to see, we make our lives about us, and in so doing, make them so much smaller than they could be. I saw this especially in the chapters on routine, assumptions and fear, the ones that challenged me the most. To say any more would be to run the surprise, and to not allow the compelling call of the Holy Spirit (cue the cry of a goose in flight over a sun-streaked sky) to speak through this book as clearly for you as it did for me.

Bottom line: I highly recommend this book! I will throw in a disclaimer, though: if you’re comfortable with a mediocre, safe, and passionless life, this isn’t the book for you. However, if you want a life of God-sized adventure, then read this. It will reawaken your sense of risk, anticipation, and ultimately, may lead you into a deeper trust of the God who has come in Jesus Christ to decisively set you free from the cages Batterson mentions, and lead you into undreamed-of adventures. This is a really good book!



  1. please check out sistersunshine on my space or utube..i have personally met her..she is so god given talented and listen to her sing and play as she writes all her stuff..with 5 kids she is so spiritual..let me know what you think after you do this?

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