Lessons for life from an eagle and some prairie chickens

I ran across this old legend in my notes and as always, found it meaningful. I hope you do, too.

The Eagle Who Never Fit In

A Native American brave found an eagle's egg and carried it with him until he came upon the nest of a prairie chicken. He dropped the egg in it and went on his way. 

All the eggs hatched about the same time, so the prairie chicks and the misplaced eaglet grew up together. The rest of the flock got used to this odd-looking bird over time, but he never quite fit in--and he knew it.  

Still, he kept on trying. Every day he did what the other prairie chickens did. He clucked and he cackled. He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He watched the others closely, but he simply could not fly as other prairie chickens flew. His wings kept getting in the way.  

Blog. Eagle. 3.23 7357F452-9461-A974-DF84E7F4C6A616BCOne day he looked up in the cloudless sky and spotted a bird with an enormous wingspan soaring high above.   

"Oh, what a beautiful bird and look at those huge wings! How amazing it would be to fly so high!" the eagle said to his prairie chicken mama. "What kind of bird is that?"

She hardly looked up before replying, "That's an eagle, the chief of all birds. Stand there and admire all you want, but don't get your hopes up. You could never fly like that."

With a sigh the misplaced eagle took his eyes off the sky, knowing it must be true.  Why, none of the prairie chickens could even stay off the ground for long. From then on he never allowed himself to dream of being more than he was. 

One by one the years passed and the out-of-place eagle grew to be very old. Eventually he died, still believing himself to be a prairie chicken. 

The point for parents is obvious 

We moms and dads soon discover that our children copy us. It can be daunting to hear our words coming out of their mouths. Experts tell us that like it or not, what a child sees in their parents plays a big part in how who they become.

And what we say to them about who they are hugely influences how they see themselves. (This is true at any age.) 

Brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandpas play a big part, too. So do other adults in their lives--aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, as well.  

The bottom line is that any adult who interacts with children on a regular basis can change their lives. For better or for worse.

What meaning is there for us as individuals?

First comes looking within: How accurately do we see ourselves?

How often do we say or do something and ask ourselves why? The clue is thinking, I don't really understand why I said that (or did that.)

It can take awhile to work this through, so don't rush it. Let your overall goal be to look back and remember. Over time you may gain new insights and finally get that internal click! that lets you know you've hit on something that matters. After awhile your understanding will grow and you'll be quick to recognize, So that's why I always react that way.  

Next comes Part B of that question: Is this view accurate? Who am I now?

Some of us still struggle to measure up to--or live down--an old image, maybe even a hurtful remark or nickname that hangs on from childhood. Just recognizing that can help enable us leave it behind.  

Sometimes it feels uncomfortable to accept a new view of who we are. It is possible--and very human--to feel the known is safer than stepping into the unknown. What then?

Those of us who know and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord can find strength in the Bible. We can ask God to enable us to believe and to rest our hearts and minds in promises like this:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.   2 Corinthians 5:17  ESV 

As new people in Jesus, let's live like it

And let's be sure our kids know our loving God created them one-of-a-kind. (You and me, too.) Only HE truly knows an individual's limits--or potential.

As I proofread this I want to be sure it comes through that my aim is that each of us will clearly see who we are today, rather than hanging onto an outdated and possibly inaccurate assessment of who we are.

You see, I know from my own life that it's woefully easy to get stuck in old thinking. When I do that I forget who the Bible says I am in Christ.  

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10  ESV

Now, my friends, let's be who we really are!



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