Our Youth Pastor told this story:
While out for a walk, a farmer in British Columbia found a very young Eagle on the ground. Having obviously fallen out of its nest, the bird had one leg and a wing that seemed to be broken. The farmer took the small bird home and nursed it back to health in part, by allowing it to live among his chickens. The oddest thing happened. As the Eagle grew in size, it seemed to think it was a chicken. Of course the farmer fed it gophers and mice, but other than that, the Eagle walked around with the chickens, sometimes even scratching in the dirt like them. The strangest thing however was that the Eagle refused to fly. Mimicking his chicken friends as they flapped their wings, the Eagle would flap his wings to the point of leaving the ground but he never would he fly away.
News of this bird made its way to a biologist who lived in the area. He asked the farmer if he might work with the bird and see if he could get it to fly. As the farmer never intended for the Eagle to remain earth-bound, the he said, “Sure.”
First the biologist held the bird as high as his arms would reached. With a lifting motion he tried to “boost” the Eagle into the air. The Eagle did spread its wings and jump, but only enough to allow it to glide to the ground with the rest of the chickens. Next the biologist took the bird to the top of the chicken coop, with the same result. Finally, after several days of encouraging the bird to fly, the biologist took the bird to the top of the farmer’s house. As he repeatedly threw his arms up in the air, the most he could get the Eagle to do was spread its wings for balance while clamping its talons firmly to the gloved hand. Just as he was about to give up, the man raised his tired arms one last time in the air and to his great joy and surprise, the Eagle took off, flew high above the pines and never returned to the farm yard.
No one knows if the Eagle survived or not. Having never been trained to hunt, perhaps not. The point of the story, however, is this. We Christians were meant to sore. We were never meant to be earth bound. We were meant to glide into and through life upon the wings of the greatest Love in the Universe. This is not true for everyone. Those who “live upon the earth,” like chickens, scratching and clawing for the crumbs that this life has to offer are as happy as they’re ever going to get.
We don’t need to settle for less. Because of Jesus, there is so much more to life than scratching for crumbs! As N. T. Wright says, “Love is not a duty. Love is our destiny.”
You are part of God’s Kingdom and that Kingdom, while incomplete at present, starts right now. Live like you know it!
“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will rise up on wings like Eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”