Once upon a time, while walking through the forest, a certain man found a young eagle. He took it home and put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat chicken feed and to behave as chickens behave.
One day, a naturalist who was passing by inquired of the owner why it was that an eagle, the king of all birds, should be confined to live in the barnyard with the chickens.
"Since I have given it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it has never learned to fly." replied the owner. "It behaves as chickens behave, so it is no longer an eagle."
"Still," insisted the naturalist, "it has the heart of an eagle and can surely be taught to fly."
After talking it over, the two men agreed to find out whether this was possible. Gently, the naturalist took the eagle in his arms and said, "You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly."
The eagle, however, was confused; he did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their feed, he jumped down to be with them again.
Undismayed, the naturalist took the eagle, on the following day, up on the roof of the house and urged him again, "You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly." But the eagle was afraid of his unknown self and world and jumped down once more for the chicken feed.
On the third day, the naturalist rose early and took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There, he held the king of birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, "You are an eagle. You belong to the sky as well as the earth. Stretch forth your wings now, and fly."
The eagle looked around, back toward the barnyard and up to the sky. Still he did not fly.
Then the naturalist lifted him straight toward the sun and it happened that the eagle began to tremble and slowly he stretched his wings. At last, with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.
It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens with nostalgia; it may even be that he occasionally revisits the barnyard. But as far as anyone knows, he has never returned to lead the life of a chicken. He was an eagle even though he had been kept and tamed as a chicken.
Some Christians never know their full potential or what they could have done. It is sad to live a life of regrets. Don’t live another person’s dreams. Don’t be born an original and die a copy. Seek to soar high above the ground and reach your fullest potential for God. Don’t think you are a chicken when you are an eagle. Uncap and release your potential! Reach towards your God-given goals. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Lift your wings and soar high toward the heavens. Look into the face of God and shout, “This is where I belong.” Eagles were meant to soar not remain on the ground.