Today I watched an eagle soar in the air. It was a magnificent moment. I thought of the passage:
“Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40: 27-31
Have you heard about the story of an eagle who thought he was a chicken?
There was a certain man who went through the forest seeking any bird of interest he might find. He caught a young EAGLE, brought it home, put it among the fowls and ducks and turkeys, and gave it chicken food to eat even though it was the king of birds. Five years later, a naturalist came to see him and said that the bird is an EAGLE, not a chicken, after passing through the garden.
Yes, said the owner, but I have trained it to be a chicken. It is no longer an EAGLE. No, said the naturalist, it is an EAGLE still; it has the heart of an EAGLE, it has the wingspan of an EAGLE, and I will help it soar high up into the heavens. No, said the owner. It is a chicken and will never fly.
They agreed to test it. The naturalist picked up the EAGLE, held it up, and said with great intensity. EAGLE, you are an EAGLE; you belong to the sky and not to this earth; stretch forth your wings and fly.
The EAGLE turned this way and that, and then looking down, saw the chickens eating their food, and down he jumped. The owner said; I told you it was a chicken. No, said the naturalist, it is an EAGLE. Give it another chance tomorrow.
So the next day, he took it to the top of the house and said: EAGLE, you are an EAGLE; stretch forth your wings and fly. But again, the EAGLE, seeing the chickens feeding, jumped down and fed with them.
Then the owner said: I told you it was a chicken. No, asserted the naturalist, it is an EAGLE, and it has the heart of an EAGLE; only give it one more chance, and I will make it fly tomorrow.
The next morning he rose early and took the EAGLE outside the city and away from the houses, to the foot of a high mountain. The sun was rising, gilding the top to the mountain with gold, and every mountain peak was glistening in the joy of the beautiful morning.
The EAGLE looked around and trembled as if new life were coming to it. But it did not fly. The naturalist then grabbed its head and made it look straight at the sun. Suddenly it stretched out its wings and, with the screech of an EAGLE, it flew out of his hands and mounted higher and higher and never returned. Though it had been kept and tamed as a chicken, it was an EAGLE.
You take us humans and put us among the ducks, and turkeys, and chickens in this world and give us rules to live by and tell us that we are moral people so long as we live by those rules, and we will contently live out our lives in meager existence.
But you let someone like Christ come along, straighten our backs, and point our head toward the heavens, and then suddenly we realize we are sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are God’s chosen people. We are NOT chickens; we are EAGLES!
Our society today has a way of dehumanizing us. When we allow this to happen, we fail to see our true worth before God.