Monthly Archives: March 2014

Extroverted Geese, Introverted Geese, and the Way People Pray


I was out for my walk the other day. Early spring was in the air, still a bit crisp but the hope of warmth had pushed the daffodils up from their beds and the maple buds from their branches.

The clouds were graceful wisps, the sunset tossing delicate pinks across the horizon… when suddenly there burst through my placid musing such a cacophony as I have never heard. Swa-honking calls of Canada geese, only unusually loud.Extroverted Geese, Introverted Geese, and the Way People Pray

I looked up and it was geese alright but the biggest flock I’d ever seen. I stopped counting at 100 and EVERY one of them joyously calling. It was a happy, haphazard flock, no discernible formation. For a few minutes they rollicked westward toward the Chesapeake Bay. Then a couple veered off northwards, as if obedient to the ancient prompting to head north. Within minutes the raucous troupe had joined them. Next thing I knew, a sharp left turn of 100 fat birds and they were headed bayward again. Eventually, it looked like they crossed the Pennsylavania line northward and continued that course, the honking chorus finally faded.

Silence. It was kind of nice after the fun frolic of the extroverted 100.

Then a calm, quiet, “honk, honk”. I looked up and there were 12, exactly 12 Canada geese flying so quietly overhead that I could hear their wings whir. They held a perfect V formation with the lead goose giving an occasional quiet “honk” to keep the group on task. After a few minutes, following perfect goose tradition, he gently dropped to the back left wing of the V and the second in command faithfully, silently took his place at the front tip. Perfect introverted goose-ness.

Meeting Of Support Group

It got me thinking about our weekly prayer meetings. The extrovert pray-ers consider prayertime a social time to which God is invited. They merrily share about everything in life and comment on everyone else’s prayer requests or praises. Extroverts praying together is often a happy, raucous time. The actual “Dear God” part of the session is short because they were confident that God was listening to the whole thing anyway.

When introverts pray together, the request time is shorter. There is no cross-talk and not much merriment is required. It is quiet and purposeful. The actual, “Dear God” part is longer and comes sooner in the session. They pray in orderly fashion, waiting turns, and often allowing moments of silent listening.

Just like both flocks of geese successfully ended up in the right direction, I imagine our prayers do, too. We all have a part to play and a way to pray.

I ran this post concurrently at  7 Sisters Homeschool.