Once upon a time there lived a farmer who hunted in the woods. While hunting, he often spotted an eagle. He told his wife that there was an eagle in the woods but she did not believe him. One day when he was in the woods he climbed to the top of the mountain. He came across the eagle’s nest and in it there were a number of eggs. He grabbed one of the eggs to bring home to prove to his wife that there was an eagle in the woods .
He showed the egg to his wife. She said to him, “That is great, but now are you going to do with this egg?” He did not know. She said, “Why not put it in the chicken coop with the other eggs and see if it hatches?” So that is what he did.
Lo and behold, the eagle egg hatched and the young eagle began to live among the other chicks and behave just like them. It spend its days scratching the ground for worms and feed.
One day a birdwatcher came to town searching for interesting birds. He went to a café and, while he was ordering a cup of coffee, he asked the waitress if there were any interesting birds in the area. The waitress told him that she did not know, but there was a farm nearby where an eagle lived like a chicken. The birdwatcher said, “This cannot be, because it is not the nature of an eagle to live like a chicken!” This I must see, he said to himself.
So the birdwatcher went to visit the farmer, and he saw the eagle living among the chickens. He could not believe it! He said to the farmer, “This cannot be, since it is not the nature of an eagle. Eagles are created to fly and soar!” So he grabbed the eagle in his arms; he held it up in the chicken yard and said to the eagle, “You're an eagle; you're not a chicken. Fly!” But the eagle jumped from the birdwatcher’s arms back down to the ground and began to scratch for feed with the chickens. “This is not right, maybe I need to go a bit higher,” said the birdwatcher. So he and the farmer went to the hayloft above the chicken yard. Again, the birdwatcher held the eagle in his arms and told him, “You’re an eagle, fly!” But as soon as he let go, the eagle immediately flew back down to the chicken coop and began to search for feed and worms amidst the chickens.
The birdwatcher said to the farmer, “Maybe it's the environment. Let us take the eagle up into the woods and up the mountain and see what it does there.” So they took the eagle and went deep into the woods and climbed up the mountain and stood on a cliff overlooking the valley. The birdwatcher held the eagle in his hands over the cliff and once again said to it, “You are an eagle, this where you belong. Fly!” For the first time the eagle looked up and out, and saw the sun and the clouds and the huge vista that was before it. The eagle spread its magnificent wings, took flight and soared off into the horizon. At last the eagle began to live as an eagle.
- What struck you in this story? What character do you relate to?
- Why did the eagle not fly away from the birdwatcher when they were at the farm, but it did fly away when they were on the mountain?
- Do you see yourself as God sees you? If not, why not?
- Do you ever feel like you are an eagle stuck in a chicken coop with a bunch of chickens?
- Who in your life, helped you to realize that you are an eagle, not a chicken?
- Are you living the life that God hopes for you?