Wild Goose Chase (pt. 2)
I’m a couple more chapters into the Wild Goose Chase and my enthusiasm for the hunt is still very strong. I appreciate the didactic method and humble logic that Mark uses to illustrate the “cages” we build and make into “homes” that hold us back from joining “The Chase” in earnest.
Chapter four continues the discourse of cages with this Cage of Assumptions. While I do not struggle (anymore) with issues of my faith; specifically, placing manmade limitations on the person and ability of God, I am in contact with many people who still do. I think I gained the most from this chapter with insight that will help me communicate with people (generations) most affected by the post-modern culture. Batterson makes a very astute observation with this comment describing our propensity to put “God in a box.”
“…When something doesn’t fit within our preexisting cognitive categories…we explain away what we cannot explain. Instead of embracing the mystery, we come up with human explanations for supernatural phenomena… Instead of living in wonderment, we try to make the Omniscient One fit within the logical limits of our left brain. And if I may be so bold, I honestly don’t think that makes us smart. I think it makes us small-minded. And God isn’t the one diminished. We are.”
Another point he makes in this chapter titled Eight-Foot Ceilings, merits repeating here. In chapter three Mark wrote about the Dictatorship of the Ordinary and why it is important to reflect on the person of God and the mile-markers or “altars” in our lives when there were significant moments that God revealed His faithfulness to us. Batterson reinforces this teaching here with another illustration called object permanence aka “out of sight, out of mind.” While routine and normalcy have a tendency to have their own numbing effect upon our minds, so does object permanence. This is why it is of critical importance not to lose sight of God; “We lose perspective when we lose sight of the promises of God” (pg. 74).
I will say again that I don’t want to spoil the read for anyone following my review, so I’ll just add that there are several more wonderful anecdotal illustrations shared in this chapter about eight-foot ceilings and our cages of assumptions. It is called “faith” for a reason and I think Mr. Batterson does a great job of identifying some of our weaknesses with expressions of faith as well as sharing hope for the building of it.
Chapter five introduces us to the cage of guilt with the title A Rooster’s Crow. More interesting and insightful anecdotes await the reader in this chapter. I loved this quote on pg. 99; “In my experience, it is much easier to act like a Christian than it is to react like one.” True Dat.
My take away from this chapter might be a little different than what the author intended, but not by much I don’t think. I teach regularly and often that the promises of God through Jesus are that we can live the life He lived while we are in our present physical bodies here on earth. Tall order, I know. He (Jesus) says that we will do greater works than he did and John affirms this teaching in his first epistle (1 John 2:6). We have the capacity, empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit of God in the believer to walk as Jesus walked. We can live like He did, love like He did, extend grace like He did, and forgive like He did. I believe this teaching and belief system is affirmed with Batterson’s writing here:
“If you want to impact someone’s life, love them when they least expect it and least deserve it. When people blow it, you have an opportunity to impact their lives forever. You might think, but they don’t deserve it. That’s the point, isn’t it? Do you deserve the grace of God? …God’s love is proactive. He doesn’t wait for us to get our act together. God always makes the first move. And we’re called to follow suit.” (pp 104-105)
More gems await the treasure hunting goose chaser in this sophomore offering from Mark Batterson. I eagerly anticipate the final three chapters of the book and should have time to complete it over the next day or so. I hope you’ll return for part three and the completion of my review of the Wild Goose Chase in the next couple of days…
Engage the mystery; Chase the Goose !!!