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
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
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
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.