Today, I find myself in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m on a fun, yet long adventure and am driving a 10 foot U-Haul across the country. Our youngest daughter, Cambri, needs some of her things for her senior year at USC in Los Angeles and I’m the deliverer. It’s actually been a fun and inspiring journey as I have never done anything like this by myself.
I awoke this morning to this beautiful sunrise:
It’s the Sandia mountain range and they are especially beautiful this morning.
“Oh how I’d love to fly close to that majesty!” I thought when I saw that glorious sunrise unfold. I was then reminded that eagles can and that perhaps many do soar near these mountain tops daily to take in the grandeur.
My dear friend and mentor, Shirley Staires, shared a story with me years ago that I remembered this morning as I imagined an eagle, soaring over the mountains.
It’s called: The Chicken Eagle and I’ll summarize it for you:
A naturalist was visiting a farmer one day and was surprised to see a beautiful eagle in the chicken coop. “Why in the world do you have an eagle living with chickens?”
“Well,” answered the farmer, “I found him when he was little and raised him here with the chickens. He doesn’t know any better; he thinks he is a chicken.”
The naturalist was dumbfounded. The eagle kept pecking the grain and drinking from the watering can, keeping his eyes on the ground, scratching around in circles.
“Does he ever try to fly, try to spread his wings and soar?” asked the naturalist.
“No,” said the farmer…I doubt he even knows what it means to fly.
The naturalist asked the farmer if he could take the eagle out of the coop and spend some time with him.
“Sure,” said the farmer but I think you’re just wasting your time.
The naturalist took the eagle and lifted him to the top of the chicken coop fence. “Fly!” he said, to the frightened eagle who fell to the ground.
Next, he took the eagle to the top of the hayloft and spread its wings before tossing it high in the air. “Fly!” he said excitedly, hoping to see the eagle take flight on its own.
Again, the eagle crashed to the ground and resumed scratching and pecking the ground.
Then, the naturalist took the ruffled eagle out, away from the chicken coop. He set the docile bird in the front seat of his pick up truck next to him and headed for the highest butte, away from the farm.
He tucked the bird under his arm and spoke gently: “Friend,” he said to the eagle, “you were made to soar.”
After a lengthy and sweaty climb to the crest of the butte, he lifted the eagle up and, once more, said “FLY!”
He tossed the eagle out and, this time, much to his relief, it opened its 7 foot wingspan and flew gracefully into the sky. The eagle slowly climbed in ever higher spirals, riding unseen thermals of hot air until it disappeared in the glare of the morning sun.
The naturalist watched as the eagle flew over the chicken coop, perhaps bidding farewell to the farmer and his chicken family.
The naturalist smiled and thought how satisfied he was with his days work. Like the eagle, he had for many years, let other people define his worth and direct his path. Yet, with a change of environment, hope in his heart and faith to try something new, he found his self-worth and real calling.
The moral of the story, of course, is to not let other people define you or limit your influence and purpose.
You were created to fly!
If you find yourself in a “chicken pen” environment, it’s time to get out of that coop.
What some peck away at throughout life is not part of your purpose. If you choose chicken feed you will miss out on magnificent morsels. You were made to soar on wings with eagles.
We all are children of God with unimaginable potential. Our Heavenly Father knows our purposes and has given us individual missions and special, unique gifts needed to accomplish them.
Isaiah 40: 31 reminds us of this: “ they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
This promise should become more and more enticing to us. But, sadly, like the eagle in the chicken pen, surrounded by others with downcast eyes, most people lack the desire to discover their God-given abilities and talents.
It is when you get out of the coop, look up to your Creator and seek His counsel, that you become all that you are meant to be.
So…start today! Venture away from familiarity. No more chicken feed. Fly high with your Creator. Seek His path for your life and enjoy a heavenly vision of purpose.
* For those of you who are following my U Haulin’ adventure, I’m exploring Albuquerque today, then am off to Arizona tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers. I feel and treasure them and you!