Ever wonder why geese in the autumn fly in a 'V' formation and not just randomly? Remember that old United Airlines ad, 'Fly the friendly skies of United'? Geese know that to complete the long trip south, they have to fly united. Scientists tell us that flying in formation increases their flight range by 71%. Air waves created each time a bird flaps its wings provide uplift for the next one in formation, supporting it, decreasing its work load and conserving its energy. A solo goose could never complete the trip but in formation the youngest, the oldest and even the weakest get there. In other words, they do collectively what they could never do alone.
When God said, 'Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another,' He was saying, 'Stay in formation children! Enjoy the uplift!' You weren't designed to fly solo no matter what your rank, calling, gifting or maturity level. You're a part of the body of Christ, created to function in concert full partnership with all the other parts. 'The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"' (1 Corinthians 12:21 NIV). Occasionally a goose, disoriented or overconfident, goes on autopilot and finds itself adrift. Soon, however, its wings become heavy from exhaustion and it loses altitude. It begins to feel the drag of increasing wind resistance and it pulls its weakened body back into formation alongside its feathered fellow pilgrims. Jesus said, 'Look at the birds' (Matthew 6:26 NIV). So get back in formation (and fellowship) and stay there!