Wild Goose Chase

Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God

Christian - Living
192 Pages
Reviewed on 03/22/2009
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the title of this book. When I think of a wild goose chase I think of pursuing something that is worthless.  However, Batterson’s definition is very different.  He uses the image of a goose to symbolize the Holy Spirit.  He continues to explain that too often Christians expect the Holy Spirit to chase them rather than chasing  the Spirit.  

Wild Goose Chase is an amazing book that focuses on the Holy Spirit. If I put the plot in a nutshell, it would be “Submit to the Spirit.” When we totally submit, we follow wherever the Spirit leads. We have no idea where that will be; we just follow, willingly with faith.

Wild Goose Chase’s target audience is Christians. This book assumes there is a Biblical, Spiritual background. Mark Batterson’s writing style is conversational and easy to understand. I see this book as a call for Spiritual Revival. All Christians would benefit from reading Wild Goose Chase.

C. Groeschel

Batterson has done it again! I read "Wild Goose Chase" from cover to cover without putting it down. Every chapter made me smile, made me think, and made me pause to reflect on God's heart.

I especially enjoyed Mark's perspective and insight on well known bible stories. Although I've read about Moses, Abraham, Jonathan, Peter, and Paul countless times, Batterson retold the old stories in a new light.

Even though Mark flawlessly kept my attention, I found myself pausing many times to pray.

Mark's language and images have a way of awakening my dormant faith and dreams. I will unquestionably revisit this book.

Richard C. Jones

Recently I was given the opportunity to review the new book by Mark Batterson, "Wild Goose Chase." The book releases today, and I can't urge you enough to get get your copy!

Mark is not only an author, but he serves as the pastor of National Community Church, in Washington, DC. In observing his approach to ministry both in person (at events I have heard him speak at), and on his weekly podcast, he relates so naturally to the listener because you get the feeling that he's "on the journey" just like you are. That said, his writing style takes on a similar feel. To date, I have read both of his books, and his passionate approach to living the adventure and fulfilling the dreams God has given us is birthed out of a heart that pursues God.

In his latest release, "Wild Goose Chase," Mark likens the modern pursuit of God to that of a chase of a "wild goose."

The back cover boasts, "Most of us have no idea of where we're going most of the time. Perfect. Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit - An Geadh -Glas, or "the Wild Goose." The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacreligious, I cannot think of a better description of what it's like to follow the Spirit through life. Most of us have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty goes by another name: ADVENTURE."

It's that adventure that drew me through the pages of this book. Recently my wife and I made the announcement that we will be planting a church in the Millvale section of Pittsburgh (more on that later), and the process leading up to that announcement, as well as the uncertainty of the days that lie ahead were such fertile ground for the words of this book to get buried in my own spirit.

In the second chapter mark states, "There are moments in our life when our passions and the purposes of God converge in what I call supernatural synchronicities. These are the moments when we come alive. These are the moments when the sovereignty of God overshadows our incompetencies. And these are the moments when our success can be attributed to only one thing: the favor of God. God does something for us that we would never do for ourselves."

Not only was it hard not to see the current events of my own life right now as one of those "spiritual synchronicities, but it seems as if the introduction of this book in my life is one of them, as well! I reccomend this book for anyone wanting to awaken their personal pursuit of God, but even more, I reccomend it for those anticipating taking a leap of faith for God. This book will energize your journey!

Erik Scottberg

The title of the book comes from the Celtic Christians, who referred to the Holy Spirit as "An Geadh-Glas" or "the wild goose".

In his followup book to In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day, Batterson discusses six cages that keep us from chasing God's plan for our lives. I found each chapter to be incredibly insightful, encouraging, challenging and practical. Whereas his previous book inspired me to look at life and circumstances differently (a challenge to live dangerously), this book provided me with practical ways to step out and enter into the chase.

I've always been impressed with Batterson's seemingly natural ability to communicate truths in simple memorable statements (my highlighter got an extra workout on this one). Here's just a few I found after flipping back through the book:

* "Discovering something worth dying for makes life worth living."
* "One of the great mistakes we make is asking God to do for us what God wants us to do for Him."
* "And God seems to be far less concerned with where I'm going than with who I'm becoming."

As a youth pastor, I can't help but read this book with students in mind. I think it's perfect for Juniors and Seniors in high school who are in the process of discovering who they are and where they are going in life. The fact that the book is so accessible and relevant only makes it that much more easy to recommend.

On page 13, Batterson writes that he hopes this book serves "as a divine appointment waiting to happen." I think what I appreciate the most about this book is that it has been just that for me. I've been challenged to step out of my areas of routine and live a life of faith in pursuit of the "wild goose."

Brenton Balvin

Wild Goose Chase is a fun read that will inspire you to think more about what it means to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. Written in much of the same style as Mark's first book, Wild Goose Chase is an easy to read book filled with personal stories, Biblical character case studies, provoking challenges and memorable one-liners.

The byline of the book says, "Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God." Batterson explains that Christians can do this by getting free of 6 cages that hold them captive. These cages are:

1. Responsibility
2. Routine
3. Assumptions
4. Guilt
5. Failure
6. Fear

Some of my favorite quotes in the book are:

- When we lack the guts to step out in faith, we rob God of the glory that is rightfully his.
- We start dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don't really start living until we find something worth dying for.
- [The Holy Spirit] comforts the afflicted. Like a good counselor, He also afflicts the comfortable.
- The only way you discover a new identity is by letting go of an old one.
- We can't appreciate the full extent of God's grace until we realize the full extent of our sin.
- God often uses things that seem to be taking us off our course to keep us on His course.
- I think some of us want to know the will of God more than we want to know God.
- Start playing offense with your life.

You will enjoy this book and it will motivate you to get closer to the Holy Spirit and begin the journey of following after him!

Stephen E. Garner

What would Christianity look like if believers came out of their cages to passionately chase "The Wild Goose?" Do you ever feel like you are caged by responsibility, routine, assumptions, guilt, failure, or fear? God did not make you to be caged. He made you to be free. And He made you for adventure. Consider that the very word "adventure" cannot even be spelled without "advent," the name given to God coming into the world through the birth of Christ Jesus. Two thousand years ago, Jesus shared amazing adventures with His disciples, and God wants to share adventures with you today. If you will listen carefully and be patient I believe that you will hear an invitation from God to join Him outside your comfort zone in a place of glorious adventure. This is the theme of Pastor Mark Batterson's new book, Wild Goose Chase (Multnomah 2008), which is being released 8/19/2008.

It is said that the early Celtic Christians, including St. Patrick, referred to the Holy Spirit as "The Wild Goose." While not all the reasons are known for this comparison, you can certainly see some of the reasons as you think about wild geese. I have observed some of the attributes of Canadian Geese as they stop off briefly in a pasture and lake by my home during their migrations. They are untamable, free, and somewhat unpredictable. A wild goose always seems to be on the move, and as Bill Tenny-Brittian observed, "on a pilgrimage ordained by the Lord Himself." Some might say that living a life of being led by the Spirit is nothing but "a wild goose chase," and to that I say "Amen." From a common-sense standpoint, many of my most memorable spiritual adventures must have seemed to outsiders to be nothing more than a "Wild Goose chase."

Pastor Mark says of his own Wild Goose chase, "I am determined to pursue God-ordained passions until the day I die. Life is too precious to settle for anything else. I'm not convinced that your date of death is the date carved on your tombstone. Most people die long before that. We are dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don't really start living until we find something worth dying for. Ironically, discovering something worth dying for is what makes life worth living." Wild Goose Chase, pp. 16-17 (Multnomah 2008).

For those who say that sounds risky, consider this: "Jesus never promised safety or certainty or predictability. And He certainly didn't die on the cross to tame us. He died to make us dangerous. He died to invite us into a life of spiritual adventure. And if you will have the courage to come out of the cage and chase the Wild Goose, life will turn into another day, another adventure!" Id. at p. 171. If you chased the lion into a pit on a snowy day with Pastor Mark in his last book, you will not want to miss Wild Goose Chase which invites you to "reclaim the adventure of pursuing God." I think I used up a whole highlighter on this terrific and compelling read.

Todd Warnock

At my age, I don't understand why kids wait in line for days at the movie theater to see the latest Harry Potter movie, or stand in line for hours to get the newest video game that hits the shelves at midnight. However, I'll admit - I watched the mailbox with the same anticipation waiting for Mark Batterson's new book - Wild Goose Chase.

Like Batterson's first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, the book is short enough to read through in one sitting. And, for those that choose to take that approach, you won't be disappointed. However, in my mind, the mark of a good piece of non-fiction is now it applies to me, and here's where Batterson hits a home run.

The book calls it "responsible irresponsibility". Doing something that - on the surface - makes no sense. But we make excuses. And, in the context of the Wild Goose, these become our cages.

"I'm unqualified."
"I might fail."
"I need to pray about it."
"I'm waiting on a sign from God."

Early in the book, Batterson tackles these excuses (and others.) He cites real world examples of people who have taken the next step. From the Biblical story of Nehemiah's rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem to John Muir (the founder of the Sierra Club) pushing higher into the mountains during a raging storm, Batterson talks about intentionally pursuing God.

God never intended for us to go through life carefully calculating every step. In chess, we want to know what effect our next move will have ten moves from now. God doesn't work that way! He doesn't want us to stroll casually into heaven, saying "I was careful, God" or "I waited until I knew *exactly* what you wanted before I made that move, God." Instead, (to use a baseball analogy), I think God wants us sliding into heaven, completely used up, with absolutely nothing more to give, saying, "God, I took risks. I stepped out. Many times, I didn't know what it was exactly that you wanted, but relied on my faith. I pursued you, and I relentless told others about you."

Take risks. Stop thinking and take the next step. Chase the Wild Goose!

Bryan Jarabek

This book is amazing, the stories are so inspiring and make you want to get off your seat and find your mission that God has created you to fulfill!

Fred A. Thompson

Batterson's portrayal of contemporary Christian's need to engage with their faith was inspiring, thoughtful and well-presented. I highly recommend it for all Christians to read, particularly in view of current economic and social needs in the United States and the world. His exhortation to assess the things that make you sad, mad or glad and do something about those things.
Dr. Fred Thompson

Rebecca Stuhlmiller

Every once in awhile I come across a book that leaves me wanting to devour it from cover to cover in one sitting and, at the same time, read slowly and savor every word, prolonging the time before it inevitably ends. This is one of those books. Mark's passion for the God-infused life is evident in the work he is doing and he, like me, wants every person to experience the adventure of fulfilling their God-given mission, purpose, or destiny (call it what you like). I call it living out our Bible Story. I won't be passing my copy along. Nope! But I will be buying more books to give away as gifts. Great for everyone, high school and up!

Pamela M. Hawley

This is one of those life changing books. Mark Batterson is a brilliant author. I have read his other two books as well "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day" and "ID the True You" - both fabulous.