The Eagle and the ChickenOne day a farmer found an eagle’s egg and thinking it one of his chicken’s eggs, placed in a nest in his chicken coop. The egg hatched and the baby eagle grew up thinking that he was a chicken. The eagle did what the chickens did. It scratched the dirt for seeds and worms and it did not fly more than a few feet because this is what chickens did.
One day he saw an eagle flying gracefully and majestically in the open sky. He asked a chicken friend “What is that beautiful bird?” The chicken said “That is an eagle. He is an outstanding bird, but you can’t fly like him because you are just a chicken.” So the eagle never gave a second thought to it and lived and died as a chicken, depriving himself of his heritage.
This parable has been told and retold many times in various cultures, through different authors and saints. The cautionary message however, is the same; that if a person doesn't know who he/she is the end result can be at worst catastrophic and at best very sad.
How many people do you know that live like this? Like chickens with an eagle's heritage. How many people do you know that live lives of quiet complacency; living the same unheroic life minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, year by year until they realize too late that they have wasted their life pursuing meaningless things. To be heroic doesn't mean doing extraordinary things. It means doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Last week, my wife found some nice little items in a clearance sale and decided to purchase them for friends. The gifts were inexpensive, small, and insignificant. After preparing each item in a little gift bag with tissue paper, it made each recipient feel special. That's the essence of everyday heroism, doing an ordinary thing in an extraordinary way.
The great news is if you are reading this now you can recapture your eagle heritage and begin to soar to the heights that God destined you to fly.