Aesop once told a fable about a farmer who had a goose that laid golden eggs. At first, the farmer was amazed and glad for his good fortune, but before long, he became greedy. He was no longer satisfied with getting just one golden egg each day, he wanted all the golden eggs immediately!
He cut off the goose’s head and reached down inside the animal to find the cache of golden eggs. But to his great disappointment, he found that there were no golden eggs stored inside the goose. Even worse, he had destroyed his ability to create the golden eggs when he killed the goose.
The fable serves as a good analogy for what sometimes happens at work and in ministry. You and your staff are the goose. The work you produce is the golden egg that benefits the company or ministry and keeps it profitable and effective. Of course, everyone wants as many golden eggs from the goose as possible.
Remember, though, that it is possible to kill the goose by working it too hard. If you have been putting in outrageous hours lately or requiring them from your team, you may be killing the goose. When your body wears down, you will likely be so fatigued or sick that you cannot produce the golden eggs again until you start taking care of yourself. If you work your staff too hard, they may decide to go lay their eggs somewhere else.
If you are in ministry, it’s good to remember that the golden eggs only come in God’s timing and according to His purpose. Working harder and longer in order to accomplish more and can be a subtle and seductive temptation, but at some point, we go beyond trying to achieve a “God thing” and end up with just a “good thing.” Our golden eggs come out silver or bronze or worse.
God doesn’t need us to produce the golden eggs. He lets us join Him in the work, because it brings Him pleasure to see us grow and develop and take satisfaction in a job well done. But if we don’t take good care of the goose, God may decide to do the laying.