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Eagle's Wings

 

EAGLE’S WINGS

By Dr. Richard Ing

I read a story about an eagle over fifteen years ago and forget the exact wording, sequence or outline.  Apologies to the original writer because I forgot his name and cannot locate the article.  It is a wonderful writing worth sharing, but I only have my faulty memory to rely on.  I take no credit except where the story lacks.  It went something like this:

Once there was a farmer somewhere in mid-America that had a barnyard full of chickens and other animals.  All day long, the chickens would walk around looking at the ground for worms and things in the dirt and mud and fighting/squabbling with one another when something was found.  When storms came, they would all run frantically into the chicken coop to get away from the wind and rain, vying strenuously and loudly for the highest perch.

Sometimes, the farmer would look up into the sky and see tiny specks.  He knew that these were eagles soaring above the clouds.  He often said to himself, “One day I’m going to get myself an eagle.”  Finally, it was a holiday and the farmer felt adventuresome.  He took a rope with him, hopped into his pickup truck and drove to the mountains. When he got to the base of a cliff, he began to climb.  "I bet I can find an eagle's nest up there."  Sure enough, he spotted an eagle’s nest up the side of a cliff.  He was fortunate that the eagles were out hunting for food.  He climbed up to the nest and reached in.  Good fortune!  He felt a pair of eagle's eggs, grabbed one and carefully put it into the burlap bag tied to his waist.

When he got back to the farm, he slipped the egg under one of the hens sitting on a bunch of chicken eggs.  After a week or so, all the eggs hatched.  The hen didn’t know that one chick was actually an eaglet, although the eaglet was bigger and looked different from the other chicks.  It was the proverbial ugly duckling. 

As he grew up, it was obvious that the eaglet was different from all the other chicks in the barnyard.  He was not too good at running around and didn't like to eat worms.  Soon the other chickens avoided him and made fun of the large and clumsy bird. He was like a stranger to them.  In fact, they laughed and would not play with him.  He was awkward and terribly out of place in chicken society.  The eaglet did not know that he was an eagle, so he did all the things that chickens normally do in his attempts to be accepted and liked.  He didn’t know any better.  He scratched around for worms and bugs like all the rest of the chickens.  When the eaglet was lonely, he would hop up on the wooden fence that surrounded the barnyard and let the wind blow through his feathers.  It was nice.

The farmer would clip his wings every so often so that he would be like the other chickens and could not fly.  After a while, the eaglet was almost full-grown.  He was a loner by then and very self-conscious.  He had almost no friends.  He was so different from the others, huge and uncomely. 

One day, the farmer got so busy with harvesting his crops that he forgot to clip the eagle’s wings for weeks.  As was his usual habit, the eagle jumped up on the fence.  He loved to sit on the highest rail to get away from the bullies.  Every once in a while he would look up and see specks flying above the clouds.  He thought it strange that the others could not see them.  He was the only one that could see the eagles. “I wish I could be like the other chickens,” he often sighed to himself. 

In the distance, storm clouds gathered and soon it began to rain.   The wind began blowing hard and it became dark.  All the chickens ran for cover in the coop, squawking and fighting for the highest perch.  They were afraid of the storm.  But the eagle loved the wind and the rain.  For some reason, he was unafraid and he continued to sit on the fence.

The wind began to blow harder.  After a particularly strong gust of wind, the eagle spread his wings to balance himself.  Without warning another even stronger gust of wind suddenly lifted him up and tore him away from his perch.  He began flapping his wings frantically and found himself flying higher and higher above the barnyard in circles.  In the beginning, he would tumble and sometimes almost hit the ground, but soon he learned how to steer and flap his wings.  He began to climb higher and higher and before he knew it, he was soaring above the clouds.  His heart was pounding and he was scared, but it was so exhilarating.

He was surprised.  Above the clouds, It was quiet and peaceful.  The storm could not touch him.  He was gliding effortlessly and his eyes could see as far as the horizon.  His wings took him miles and miles into the distance where he saw other eagles flying.  “My goodness!” he thought, “I’m not a chicken.  I’m really an eagle!”

CALLED TO BE EAGLES

God calls Himself an eagle.  He has called all Christians to be eagles like Him.   Before we became born-again, we really didn’t know who we were and so we groveled around for worms and little tidbits in the dirt and mud of the earth, fighting and struggling to survive and afraid of every shift of wind and rain.  We were stuck on the ground like all the other chickens in the world, looking for earthly pleasures.  We didn’t know that we were destined to be among eagles. 

We were yet young, carnal Christians, our eyes were still on things of the world, striving for earthly fame, position and prosperity – the things that chicken Christians and unbelievers lust for -  just worms and vanity to God.  The highest perch in the chicken coops of the world are not where eagles belong. 

As we begin to grow spiritually, the feathers on our wings begin to grow.  The chickens of the world begin to look at us and stay away.  We begin to look and act different from them and we start to lose friends and even family.  The path that leadeth to life is narrow and lonely.  People would like to clip your wings so that you cannot fly.  Sometimes, Christians clip their own wings.  They are more comfortable living like chickens.  After all, there are more chickens than eagles in the world. 

But some will look up to the heavens where eagles fly and have a desire to be with them.  Flying like an eagle requires that we let go of earthly things and stop acting like worldly people.  Sometimes, the wind of the Holy Spirit will tear you from your comfortable perches.  Selfishness and fear keep some eagles on the ground and in chicken coops and cages.

As we begin to shed our self-agendas, self-glorification, selfishness and worldly ambitions and begin to love and seek the Lord, we began to go a little higher.  We can even jump up on the fence where we are just a little higher up than the other chickens in the barnyard.  But, a fence is still a fence where we are not risking anything yet.  But, as we sit on the fence, the Holy Spirit begins to touch our hearts and gently push us off the fence; nay, shove us if He has to.  The winds of the Holy Spirit will blow hard for some.

If we refuse to let go of the fence, we will forever be chickens.  Some people are like that - clinging to the things of the world by their fingernails and walking the fence.  But those that dare let go and trust the winds of the Spirit, they will fly in places they never dreamed of.   Those that fly with eagle's wings can discern other Christians who claim to be eagles but are actually chickens at heart.  They do not fly in the heavenly realms.

The wind is the Holy Spirit.  The more we dare and have faith in the Lord and our hearts begin to ache to know Jesus more and to walk with Him, the stronger the winds blow.  In the beginning, we will tumble in the air and seem out of control.  Some times, it feels like we hit the ground again, or trees or mountains jump in the way.  But as we go through the trials and tests, we learn how to fly with God.

Above the storms - that’s where God wants us to be, where our spiritual eyes can see eternity.  We will fly with God, the greatest eagle of all.  Ex. 19:4; Rev. 12:14.


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