In my heart I believe November is the most holy of all months. Many would choose December with the festive observances of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. With the exception of Thanksgiving, November has nothing much to offer. Trees have shed their summer coats of green and the ground hardens.
Then it happens, without hesitation each year. I find myself outside at the right moment and my ear catches the distant honking of geese. And when that happens it causes me – like no other month – to raise my head toward heaven and witness a spectacle of nature that seems so simple, so pure. “In chevron flight” (to borrow a lyric from Joni Mitchell) I witness the primitive instinctual movement of God’s creatures to fulfill their calling irrespective of arbitrarily devised political borders or religious observances. If only we could move as easily, as non-respecters of borders, imagined or real. Such movement comes from the soul and ultimately cannot be ignored.
For the animal kingdom migration is instinctual. For humans it is often forced and unnatural. “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled” (Luke 2:1). These marching orders sent Joseph and a betrothed and very pregnant Mary on a migration from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be taxed. Caesar would not know the inconvenience of his forced migration of the poor to bolster the treasury of Rome on the backs of the occupied citizens of Judea. Mary’s child would be born in the most squalid of conditions. And so it goes to this day.
The politics of our times too often dictates a forced migration of human souls from countries across inhospitable national borders to find economic opportunity. These migrations often claim lives while simply trying to fulfill the most fundamental of human requirements – to provide adequate sustenance and shelter. Mary and Joseph would arrive safely in Bethlehem to do their civic duty, only to be “warned in a dream” that the murderous and maniacal plan of a puppet ruler of Rome would force them to continue that migration further south into Egypt.
Which way is your soul migrating? Is it following the path of least resistance? Does it seem to encounter self-imposed roadblocks of the mind more often than not? Is it circling above a safe port of gracious divine welcome for fear of landing? Is it leaning towards Jerusalem or Rome? Is there a need for a life-course re-adjustment? This holiday season is the right time to examine your soul’s migration. It is as natural a notion as the migration of geese north and south. With an attentive ear to the heart and eyes toward heaven, the final destination of this type of migration will eventually bring you to a holy destination that no forced migration of Kings or geo-political borders can thwart.