The Eagle in the Chicken Yard

The story of the Eagle in the Chicken Yard is a favorite fable of mine. No matter how many times I read it or think about it, I am inspired to do something to go to the next level. I also have the desire to help my fellow eagles achieve their goals.

As the story goes, a farmer took an egg from an eagle’s nest and laid it under a hen to be hatched. This eagle realized something was wrong deep down inside, but all he knew was the life he was born into. The eagle would stare at the sky wanting to fly and even tried on numerous occasions. For some unknown reason the farmer clipped his wings to keep him down. The eagle never stopped looking up at the sky.

One day a storm brewed and the chickens scurried about in fear, but the eagle did not feel any fear. He simply watched the chickens and other barnyard animals run and hide from the storm. A big gust of wind came along while the eagle stood alone in the barnyard and the eagle, having noticed the farmer forgot to clip his wings, stretched his wings out. He looked up at the sky and saw another eagle.

The eagle that was raised as a chicken looked at the fearful chickens and looked at the eagle gracefully soaring in the sky. The eagle in the sky let out a mighty cry. The sound of the cry moved the eagle to flap his wings and with a big gust of wind, the eagle raised as a chicken flew high above the clouds and left the chicken yard never to return!

Writing this story makes me want to put on my running shoes, but its 20 degrees outside. So I will make a list of goals instead.

We live in a world that encourages chicken behavior. Not to take away from the chickens. They have a purpose too. But all too often an eagle with misplaced identity wonders around feeling insecure, lonely, and doubtful because he knows deep down inside him, he is something more. He does not look like a chicken, nor sound like a chicken. He just does not know who he is yet.

Why the farmer took the eagle from his natural habitat, no one knows for sure? The farmer’s malevolence seems common place in today’s society. We call them “haters.”  The farmer clipped the eagle’s wings wanting to keep him down, but as the scripture says, what was meant for harm, God used it for good. The clipped wings kept the eagle grounded until it was time for him to fly. And oh boy did he ever!

When the eagle flapped his wings and realized he could fly, nothing could stop him. He knew he had the power and the means to go to the next level. I am sure the chickens looked at one another and thought, if he can do it so can I. Feel free to imagine what they looked like trying to fly from the barnyard.

You are an eagle in the chicken yard.  You know people will want to hold you back, but they will not. You know you are better than your circumstances. You know your path is not the same as others. When you know you are an eagle your breakthrough is only the beginning of all God has in store of you.  But don’t look down at the chickens!

God is able to do much more than we ask or think through His power working in us. Ephesians 3:20

We are a dream come true for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. His legacy is worthy of a national day of remembrance. On this day, the leaders of our nation asks us to volunteer our time to help others. I am grateful for anyone person who honored the wish. I am honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. with this blog and I hope a little more self awareness for myself and others who read this blog.

Dr. King believed in peace as the foundation for promoting equal rights. In his youth, he was introduced to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and used them as a source to educate himself on how to conduct peaceful assemblies and protests. The young Dr. King never imagined his journey would change the world.

Dr. King gave numerous speeches with awe inspiring words of wisdom, encouragement and hope in a time when despair and hopelessness were worn like old shoes. God is good to have a child of his to be the voice of those who have no voice. Surely Dr. King had his doubts and fears of what laid ahead of him, but he said he the Lord was with him until the end. Dr. King’s walk in faith was unshakable.

Dr. King’s life as a leader in civil rights meant adversity daily. He was thrown in jail on numerous occasions, stabbed and nearly died, his family was threatened as well as his followers, yet Dr. King kept his peaceful demeanor never giving way to retaliation with violence. He is quoted as saying, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” Praise God for putting a God fearing man in leadership.

Civil liberties are a blessing to us all. Equal rights have been placed to insure a better quality of life for generations to come. However, Dr. King’s sacrifice seems to only live in our history books and studied only when necessary. One day out of the year, Dr. King is honored in dialog between those who remember. Television shows pay tribute for 24 hours. There is little or no talk of the civil rights movement at the dinner table, nor a circle of children sitting around an adult as he or she shares a story about the Civil Rights Movement. What is there to be ashamed of?

We are living proof of Dr. King’s dream. Look at us! No matter what race, age or religion, we are living proof of Dr. King’s dream. Successful people too numerous to mention. Hopes and dreams of our own manifest by way of God’s will and our civil rights. But we must pay it forward by showing and telling future generations of what was lost and what was gained to have a starring role in the American dream.

The history of Dr. King is indeed worthy of a day of remembrance and a daily reminder of God’s grace and mercy on us all.

“I have told you these things so you may have peace in the Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!” John 16:33

Oz didn’t give anything to the Tin Man…

….that he didn’t already have.

We have all watched the Wizard of Oz at least a million times.  A movie with so much rich satire it warrants repeat viewing. I chose the Tin Man because of a line from a song called ”Tin Man” from a band named America.  “Oz didn’t give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have.”

The Tin Man was looking for a heart.  Just like the Tin man, we’re all looking for something whether it’s a job or a lifestyle change, there’s a longing for completion within ourselves.  As the Tin Man goes through the forest his adventures are filled with the joy of making new friends, confrontation of a horrible witch and ultimately finding his way to Oz. So much of life is like the Tin Man’s journey. We meet great people who are encouraging and supportive. The trials and tribulations on life’s journey can be discouraging giving hope and faith less appeal, yet we keep going knowing what we’re looking for is just around the corner. We do our best to stay on the Yellow Brick Road. When the breakthrough arrives, we reflect on the experience from start to finish with humility. Realizing the thing or things we wanted or needed weren’t far from our reach.

The Tin Man was focused on lacking a heart and didn’t see his actions as loving as he saved his friends from the perils of their journey to Oz. He did indeed have a heart.

Our Father does give us what we already have in him. Philippians 4:13 says, I can do everything in him who strengthens me.  The New Year’s Resolutions, the promise to resolve situation, or wanting to be a better person are only a thought away from reality with empowerment promised from God already in you!

What’s your Tin man story?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! You can never count the number of times you’ve said, “Merry Christmas!” Nor can you count the number of times you’ve been told the same greeting. As an adult Merry Christmas is the polite and appropriate thing to say to fellow Christians and such, but then I thought to myself, I’m totally detached from what Merry Christmas means. It saddened me, yet it made me think.

My reflective thoughts sent me back to my childhood and a warm generous feeling of joy filled my heart. I smiled and stared out of my window wishing the day away. I can’t go back to my childhood, but thank the Lord for having a childhood and a good one. One of my favorite memories is Grandpa JC’s big brown paper bags filled with oranges, apples, pencils and candy. I enjoyed my parent’s gifts, but his gift was a sure surprise for years. I think my brothers and I were excited each Christmas we received them even though we knew what to expect. That excitement wasn’t only about the bag of treats, it was about routine, security and knowing unconditional love is always there for us.  That was a Merry Christmas!

As an adult Merry Christmas takes on a different, yet similar meaning to me. The comfort I loved and longed for from family and friends also comes from my understanding of having Jesus Christ in my life. Christmas is a great time to renew your relationship with God and his Son. His birth is an awesome gift. The faith of Joseph and Mary signifies trust. The story of the Nativity scene reminds me of God’s miracles. God is good!

What does saying Merry Christmas mean to you?