Sermon Illustrations

The Eagle

There is a legend among Native Americans in the west about a brave who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle thought he was a prairie chicken, so he did what the prairie chickens did. He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He clucked and cackled. And he flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all, that’s how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.

The years passed, and the eagle grew very old. One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.

“What a beautiful bird!” the eagle exclaimed to a prairie chicken who was his neighbor. “What is it?”

“That’s an eagle – the chief of the birds,” the neighbor clucked. “But don’t give it a second thought. You could never be like him.”

So the eagle never gave it another thought. And he died thinking he was a prairie chicken.

How Does This Apply to Our Lives? The eagle, made to soar in the skies, was conditioned by his surroundings to stay earthbound. There, he pecked at seeds and chased insects. Rather than trying to achieve his full potential as an eagle, he adopted his neighbor’s standard for life: “Hey, don’t worry about flying. Let’s scratch around in the dirt and find us some bugs.” So he never became what he was supposed to be, even though he had the capability of doing so. (Source unknown)