I recently heard about the fable of the Eagle and Chicken, and I found it to be so powerful, especially in today’s world. Of course, after I read this for the first time, I have heard it repeated in different forms.
Before I go into detail, I am going to ask you if you are a Chicken or an Eagle? Think about this before you continue reading…
I will start with the chicken.
The chicken submits to the farmer and believes it only has one purpose – to live like the other chickens scratching and pecking the ground all day, chasing insects, and laying eggs. Chickens have wings, but they are not of great use for them in flying as most do not fly and if they do, not very far or high. Granted their wings are purposeful for safety, balancing, mating, and caring for baby chicks, but they do not use them to soar into freedom.
The chicken stays in the safety of the self-defeating, restricted chicken coop doing what it does every day because that is what it knows, and it fears to leave that comfort.
After all, what would the other chickens think?
Making lots of noise but never getting anywhere the chicken relies on the farmer to feed it, allows the farmer to inject it with chemicals to fatten it up, gives the farmer control of its chicks, and then when the farmer is hungry the chicken changes its name to chicken fried chicken.
Don’t get me wrong, I love chickens and hope to have chickens of my own one day with fresh eggs to eat. I also respect our farmers, I come from a family of farmers. This is merely an allegory expanding upon the fable.
Now, on to the Eagle…
The eagle on the other hand… the eagle is strong and represents freedom and peace. Eagles are able to build large nests way up high for protection and to be closer to their food source. I had the privilege of seeing an eagle and its magnificent nest in Minnesota. It truly was a peaceful and remarkable sight to see how well God provides for such a powerful bird. The nest was more than enough!
After all the Bald Eagle’s nest is known to be up to 13 feet deep, and 8 feet wide, talk about your own mansion in the sky. These birds are fierce and full of wisdom known for being clever and fearless.
The parents encourage their young to fly rather than being content in the nest hiding from harm and diversity. If the bird isn’t confident enough to take the next step the adult will lovingly continue to push the Eaglet rather than make excuses for them. The Eagle practices and hones in on its ability to fly long before it actually takes flight. Not only do eagles get to fly freely they can fly super fast, some reaching speeds of 200 mph! Wow, talk about a true rush.
Eagles have powerful vision, they are fearless and tenacious, they never surrender and are extremely determined, they aren’t afraid of taking risks and they are extremely loyal, plus they get to soar the open skies.
No wonder the eagle is a symbol of divine power and mercy, and a model for faith.
Have you heard of the ‘Fable of the Eagle and the Chicken?’
A fable is told about an eagle that thought he was a chicken. When the eagle was very small, he fell from the safety of his nest. A chicken farmer found the eagle, brought him to the farm, and raised him in a chicken coop among his many chickens. The eagle grew up doing what chickens do, living like a chicken, and believing he was a chicken.
A naturalist came to the chicken farm to see if what he had heard about an eagle acting like a chicken was really true. He knew that the eagle is the king of the sky. He was surprised to see the eagle strutting around the chicken coop, pecking at the ground, and acting very much like a chicken. The farmer explained to the naturalist that this bird was no longer an eagle. He was now a chicken because he had been trained to be a chicken and he believed that he was a chicken.
The naturalist knew there was more to this great bird than his actions showed as he “pretended” to be a chicken. He was born an eagle and had the heart of an eagle, and nothing could change that.
The man lifted the eagle onto the fence surrounding the chicken coop and said,
“Eagle, thou art an eagle. Stretch forth thy wings and fly.”
The eagle moved slightly, only to look at the man; then he glanced down at his home among the chickens in the chicken coop where he was comfortable. He jumped off the fence and continued doing what chickens do. The farmer was satisfied. “I told you it was a chicken,” he said. The naturalist returned the next day and tried again to convince the farmer and the eagle that the eagle was born for something greater.
He took the eagle to the top of the farmhouse and spoke to him:
“Eagle, thou art an eagle. Thou dost belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth thy wings and fly.”
The large bird looked at the man, then again down into the chicken coop. He jumped from the man’s arm onto the roof of the farmhouse. Knowing what eagles are really about, the naturalist asked the farmer to let him try one more time. He would return the next day and prove that this bird was an eagle.
The farmer, convinced otherwise, said, “It is a chicken.” The naturalist returned the next morning to the chicken farm and took the eagle and the farmer some distance away to the foot of a high mountain. They could not see the farm nor the chicken coop from this new setting. The man held the eagle on his arm and pointed high into the sky where the bright sun was beckoning above.
“Eagle, thou art an eagle! Thou dost belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth thy wings and fly.”
This time the eagle stared skyward into the bright sun, straightened his large body, and stretched his massive wings. His wings moved, slowly at first, then surely and powerfully. With the mighty screech of an eagle, he flew. –(In Walk Tall, You’re A Daughter Of God, by Jamie Glenn)
I have also heard this same story except that the eagle believes his fellow chickens and ends up dying a chicken.
I do not like that version of the fable. I want to believe that no matter who our “farmer” is – fear, our career, our things, our wealth, our poverty, the ways of this world, Satan, alcohol, drugs, temptations, or the big one-our own mind, that we will be told the truth and believe the truth. At least that is what I desire for myself and others.
Who do you put your complete trust in-the farmer or God? We like to say that we put our trust in God, but then we walk around worried, depressed, anxious, asking ourselves “why”. We may give our problems and life to God, but then at the first sight of difficulty, we take it back.
Who are you waiting in faith-the farmer or God? That’s just it, if you are truly waiting then you are waiting on the Lord. He tells us to be still (Psalm 46:10), but if we are submitting to our earthly farmer, then there is no waiting. Everything here is now and in a hurry. There are no seasons anymore.
One last question, who are you living your life for – the farmer or God?
I know for sure that God’s word to us is true and that Jesus’ words were true that were written when He said,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Are you weary and tired of trying to please the ways of this world and the rulers of this world?
When you do this, it is never-ending, things are constantly changing, there is constantly new information that contradicts old information, there are always new deadlines and new expectations, new fashions and upgraded technology, it is exhausting trying to keep up in this information age. However, God never changes. He is the same today as yesterday and He will be the same tomorrow.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8;
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” Exodus 3:14
I read this about Eagles, I am not sure who is the author, but it is profound; “It has been a common and popular opinion that the eagle lives and retains his vigor to a great age… The opinion was that at stated times the eagle plunged itself in the sea and cast off its old feathers, and that new feathers started forth, and that thus it lived often to the hundredth year.” I love this statement as that is exactly what we are to do, cast off our old self and be renewed.
When we rely on the Lord He will renew our strength, and we shall mount up with wings as eagles… Isaiah 40:31
Is it time for you to cast of your old feathers and start living like the eagle you were created to be?
To put your faith and trust in God and God alone?
Now is the time more than ever to “plunge yourself into the sea” and cast off your old ways.
To let go of being in bondage.
In today’s world we are seeing rates of suicide increasing, alcohol and food sales have gone up, rate of addiction is rampant, pornography being viewed more and more, more disease, more hate, less love, and Jesus is being taken out of our schools, non-Christian leaders are being put into our Christian Private Schools, bullying and social media heavily influencing our young and old, greed, poverty, selfishness, pain…all things we are experiencing more and more.
Now more than ever is the time to lean in on your God-given strength, focus on the truth, and be fearless and loyal.
You were created to represent freedom.
Stop showing people who you are trying to be and start showing them you really are.
Show them who God created you to be, and remember he chose the weak, the foolish, the unlikely as those to prove His mighty power, strength, and divinity.
I know for sure that I trust God with my life and that I strive to hone in on my abilities and practice them before I even utilize them so that when the time is right I will 10X the gifts, talents, and people that God has blessed me with.
I believe this is supposed to be our destiny, don’t waste another moment straying from who you were created to be.
Live your life of freedom starting today, and you will find yourself soaring on wings like Eagles.
Plus, it is way more fun to fly high sober and with complete clarity…