Without a GPS it is hard to find locations in and around Charlottesville. Our apartment is no exception. Our apartment complex is just off Mountainwood Drive. Like so many roads in the area it is a winding, tree-lined lane. Drivers like us, new to the area, just naturally drive a little slower, trying not to get lost, and taking time to enjoy the scenery. The green canopy above the road creates a tree tunnel. Leaves are just starting to change with the shorter days of autumn.
Mountainwood Drive is just off 5th Street. 5th is a two lane street with access to a freeway. The term street doesn’t quite describe it. It is a road busier than a lane or an avenue; faster moving than a boulevard or thoroughfare; you might accurately describe it as a busy highway.
Wait a minute. Zoom in on that picture of 5th Street. Did you see what I thought I saw?
Sure enough those are geese. Two Canadian Geese are in the center dividing strip of this busy highway. Don’t they know it is dangerous there? Cars are zipping by at 45 mph. They seem unfazed by the commotion all around them.
Once this summer, in a large park with a pond, we spotted geese. However, our area has been goose free since we arrived in July. This pair must be just hanging out for a while, eating the seeds on the grass and watching for that big V in the sky.
Two weeks have passed. Our feathered friends are still living in the grassy center section of 5th Street. We must pass this spot six times a day and they are always there. They appear to be birds of above average intelligence. We have never seen them step onto the asphalt. The instinct to fly further south must be stirring inside their goose-flesh, but the feeling isn’t stirring very strong. They travel light, no luggage marked “Florida or Bust”, but with colder weather coming they must be thinking about winter retirement in the sunshine state.
There has to be a good spiritual analogy for the geese who live on 5th street. After all, this blog is written by missionaries. How about this familiar scripture about perilous times from 2nd Timothy, Chapter 3:
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We live in perilous times, an unavoidable cliché. We hesitate to attribute any of the listed negative attributes to the geese (notice the catchy verb/noun combination). Hopefully the characteristics described in this scripture are far from our own. But, phrase by phrase, we can all see fulfillment of this prophecy about the last days.
We are much more like the geese than we care to admit. All around us is the obvious peril of the last days. We worry about families, children and grandchildren. For safety these geese must stay in a straight and narrow strip of grass on a busy highway. We must stay on the straight and narrow path, holding on to the iron rod, listening to prophets, and working to come to a knowledge of the truth for ourselves.
For the geese and for us these are perilous times.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” (2 Timothy 3:1)