One of my favorite verses is found in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 40:31 to be exact and it says, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” So today I want to ask you this question, do you want to be a Duck or Eagle? I heard a great story once about an extraordinary cab driver in New York. Any of you ever catch a cab in New York City? I have and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. The cab smelled like vomit and the cabbie looked like a homeless man. After that experience I always took the shuttle, a limo, or rented a car when I was in the Big Apple. But in my story there was a guy named “Harvey Mackay and he was waiting in line for a taxi at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie and freshly pressed black slacks, Wally the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back door. Harvey noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside spotlessly clean. As Wally slid behind the wheel, he said, "Would you like a cup of coffee?" Harvey said, "No, I’d prefer a soft drink." Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice." Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I’ll take a Diet Coke." Handing Harvey his drink, Wally said, "If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today." As the taxi pulled away from the curb, Wally handed Harvey a laminated card and said, "These are the stations I get and the music they play if you’d like to listen to the radio." As if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey the air conditioning was on and asked if the temperature was comfortable. The driver then advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. Wally also let Harvey know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts. "Tell me, Wally," the amazed passenger asked, "have you always served customers like this?" Wally smiled and looked in the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard Wayne Dyer on the radio saying that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining. Distinguish yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd." "So I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers unfriendly and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more." "I take it that has paid off for you," Harvey said. "It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year, I’ll probably quadruple it." Wally the cab driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and to start soaring like an eagle.” How amazing is that? Today I am making plans to fly like an eagle…and quit quacking like a duck. I live in Central Alabama and we called off church on Sunday night because of the bad weather that was headed our way. I figured while we had power I would surf the internet and while I was surfing around I found yet another cool story about a farmer who took an eagle egg and placed it in his hen’s nest. “So the eagle was raised like a chicken. Try as he wanted he always had trouble trying to be a chicken. His heart kept telling him that some thing was not right. Much of the time he was lonely because he just did not fit in. One time he tried to take off by flapping his wings and the farmer caught him and clipped his wings. This eagle kept looking up to the sky and felt he should be up there. One day as a storm came all the chickens were afraid and ran for cover. The little eagle was not afraid and he faced the storm. Time had passed since the farmer had clipped his wings and so they were able to be used. The eagle flapped his wings and he was able to take off. He heard the cry of another eagle up in the sky to which he flew to. He was out of the chicken yard forever.” I liked this story because it tells us that we can break free from anything that is holding us back from being what God intended for us to be. God has a purpose for me I know and He certainly does not want me to stay in the barn yard. I am not saying it is easy for it will take hard work, taking risks, enduing loneliness, leaving some things behind, making some really hard decisions, being misunderstood, being judged and criticized in order for me to enjoy the fullness of God in my life. As an eagle is uncomfortable in a chicken yard so I will be uncomfortable if I are not seeking to be all God wants me to be. I vowed after reading this story not to be content to be in a barnyard when God has the blue open skies for me to fly through. My hunger to be more than I am is a God given hunger that I will only find with life in Him. The eagle is an example of strength, perseverance and determination. It refuses to be denied its potential. It has sense in it to never give up. I have a God given ability to soar as an eagle. I have to be committed and not give up. The eagle and chicken are both birds but they are very different. As I read the story I began to see just exactly what changes need to be made to be an eagle Christian that God desires. As the eagle could not remain in the chicken coop I cannot stay satisfied for less than what God means for me to be. How about you? Are you an eagle? A chicken? Or a duck? In Joyce Meyers book, “:Don’t Give Up” there are some bird examples in which certain birds are compared to Christians and I wanted to share some of them with you, along with my own take on them, in my post today. So, if you look at a chicken you will see the person who is afraid of life and lives in fear. They spend most, if not all of their lives looking at the ground and never looking up. They seem to be bound to the earth. They can flap their wings but they do not fly. They like being kept in by a fence and are satisfied with being cooped up. If they do get out of the chicken yard they do not know what to do with the freedom they could enjoy. When a storm arises they run for safety with other chickens in a huddle without a clue as to how to solve the problems they face. The Chicken Christian is the person who, when difficulties come, does not look up for a solution but instead runs to hide in a safe place. Then there is the magpie. These birds are what we call bullies. They do not know how to be nice and pleasant and are rude and pushy. They spend their life abusing others. They are very selfish, arrogant and self-centered and become rude. Their mission in life is to make sure others do not enjoy life. The Magpie Christian is the person who seems to drive others away from living a godly life. They are pushy and want to have their way at the expense of others. They do not want to share or help others feeling they might lose what they have. When I was in elementary school at Belvedere in West Palm Beach we used to sing about the next bird, the Kookaburra. Here is bird that wants the party time. This bird is out to have fun, fun and more fun. Life to them is just one big joke. The Kookaburra Christian is someone who never takes living for Jesus as a very serious matter. They want to laugh and not have to have any discipline. They are not sensitive to others and tend to hurt, wound or offend others from their behavior. The problem with these kinds of people is that they fail to realize how much they hurt others and seldom say they are sorry. Ouch, I have known a few of these….and have at time even been one myself. The grossest bird I know is the Buzzard or Vulture. They do not enjoy life and make it hard for others. These birds are attracted to dead and dirty things. They enjoy the filth of life. All that is rotting, corrupt or stinks attract them. So the Buzzard/Vulture Christian would be a person who is glad when others fail, have problems or miserable. They spend their time trying to find rumors or gossip they can spread about others. This is a way they can make themselves feel better than others. Proverbs 13:2 tells us that, “Good people enjoy the positive results of their words, but those who are treacherous crave violence.” I truly am disgusted when I see a buzzard on the road…devouring road kill. I surely don’t want to be associated with that bird. I have some friends that have parrots or a cockatoo. True they are beautiful birds to look at….but come on…these birds have a big talk but do not back it up in their walk. These are birds that like to mimic others. The Parrot Christian is someone who makes a good talk but does not do the walk. It appears they know more than any one else but it is only because they steal from what others have said or mimic being holy. They have knowledge about God but do not have a personal relationship with Him. I can’t imagine that…my hour ride to work each day would be a real drag if I did not have that relationship with God. In Proverbs 14:23 we are told that “Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!” When I was a child my mom used to tell me that if I was going to talk the talk, I had to be able to walk the walk….I understand what she meant by that now. Some lessons are hard to learn. Another bird I want to look at is the proud peacock. This is probably one of the most beautiful birds there is….if it is a male and has his tale feathers all spread out. This bird is very proud of itself but is just a bunch of bird feathers and loud voice. This is a bird that struts around showing off. They want everyone to know how beautiful they are. A person who is Peacock Christian is one who are flashy, worldly, full of pride and very much in love and impressed with themselves. They have a better than you attitude. The next bird is one that I used to be….the little canary. This tiny little bird does not know how to enjoy the freedom of a God given life. These birds are beautiful and have great potential but they spend their lives in a locked cage. Of all birds they are best at singing. They know how to sing but they remain locked in a cage that prevents them from a life of freedom. A person who might be like a canary seems to be OK but remains content to live below what God would like them to be. I was always certain that no matter how hard I tried I just didn’t measure up and make anybody’s mark. I was a disappointment to everyone….including myself. The cage the canary likes to stay in can be tradition (it has always been this way why change?), a pitiful prayer life (There are those who think they not receiving anything from God all), living in inferiority or insecurity…all of these things can keep them from enjoying the freedom and joy that the living, loving God wants them to enjoy. They live life as a caged life and miss out on the blessings that God has for them a life that comes by being filled with the Holy Spirit. The bible says we re to be filled with all the fullness of God. I am grateful that I am no longer a caged bird and know in my heart that the words of Proverbs 13:9 are true… “the life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the sinner’s light is snuffed out.” Oh yes, and there is the Crow who lives a life that is out to take and not give. This bird lives a self centered life. They are dirty, noisy, eat what does not belong to them and want to reduce the value of other people’s lives. They become unhappy if others are happy or have success. They want it all for themselves and take from others. A Crow Christian does not care for the spiritual lives of others and wants to bring them down and not lift them up. These are the ones that pester eagles. Proverbs 15:14 says quite plainly that, “A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash. As I log out today I want to challenge you, just like Joyce Meyers does to become an Eagle Christian with me. I promise you that it is a choice you will never regret. I choose this day to be bold, strong, courageous, have a good attitude, be committed, reliable and devoted as I live my life. I want to be a storm facer and fly into them and use the storms to become stronger. After all the eagle knows how to stand alone in the storm and fly above the clouds of darkness and destruction. I can do this…because my Bible tells me “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” I AM GOING TO BE AN EAGLE! Care to soar with me?
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.