Summary: A illustration/sermon for those who are eagles inside but living like turkeys on the outside

Eagles and Turkeys

Many years ago I listened to a sermon preached by a man called Peter Lord, I remember it well for it greatly impacted my life at that time, and God used it bless me in a great way. In the sermon Peter tells of a vision/dream he had (I can’t remember which he said it was) concerning Eagles and Turkeys. I believe that vision or dream was genuinely of the Lord, and I repeat it now as best I am able from memory, please understand that I have embellished it some in the almost 25 years since I first heard it. But the basic story of an eagle raised as a turkey remains the same. May God use it to bless you, and help you to understand who you are.

In his vision Peter saw some eagles nesting high up in a tree, there was a momma eagle, a poppa eagle and 2 baby eaglets. Peter then went on to describe some of the characteristics of eagles. They are beautiful flying birds, loving to fly soaring high in the sky for hours at a time. They were made for flight. They are also birds of prey, meat eaters, hunting, killing, and devouring, as opposed to other birds (turkeys) that are primarily grain/grub eaters. Meat eaters look down on grain eaters. Real men eat beef! The idea being conveyed that eagles are tough, strong and totally cool birds.

Men have admired eagles for these traits so much so, that the eagle is the one bird of all others that we as a nation have chosen to symbolize us, "The land of the free, and the home of the brave." To help put in perspective the strength and majesty that an eagle conveys, what would it have said about us if our national bird was a parakeet?

Continuing our story, one day momma and papa eagle went out to cruise. Eagles love to cruise the skies. While gone a strong wind came and knocked the two eaglets to the ground in the midst of the forest. Stunned, scared, and confused they walked the woods crying for momma and poppa. They soon wandered far from the tree and nest in which they were being raised. They were at this time too young to have learned to fly, but it was hard wired into their genetic coding, they were creatures of the air, and they were meat eaters.

Soon they were very lost in the woods. Momma and poppa searched and searched but never found their children.

As the eaglets wandered in the woods that day, other creatures were wandering also. One was a hen turkey that had never had any children, though she greatly wanted them. As the hen went foraging for grubs and bugs that day, she heard off in the distance the two eaglets crying, "momma, momma!" She headed in the direction of the eaglets and before long found them cowering underneath a bush, "children, come out from there," she called to them. "What’s the problem, where are your parents?"

"We don’t know, we are lost."

"Well, let’s see what we can do about that."

For a few hours they searched the forest in vain looking for the eaglets nest and family. At the end of a wearisome day the hen turkey told the eaglets that they could come and live with her and that she would take care of them. She wanted kids, they wanted a momma - a perfect match.

Things went well for a while, but the eagles never fully fit in with the turkeys they were being raised with. For if you are a turkey, you raise your children to be a turkey. One of the two eaglets, (we’ll call him Tom), had an especially difficult time adjusting to life as a turkey. For one thing, he was no longer getting fresh meat from his parents but was out scratching and digging for worms and grubs, and eating seeds and grains. Every now and then he’d see a rabbit in the woods and for some reason unknown to him, he would start salivating.

Once when he saw a rabbit, he said to his brother Jerome, "hey Jerome let’s go kill and eat that rabbit."

"What are you talking about," said Jerome. "We are turkeys, we don’t eat rabbits, we eat worms, and bugs, and grubs, and grain. But rabbit? we never eat that." Tom put the idea out of his head for the moment, but it just seemed to keep coming back and coming back. One day on a spring morning the turkeys were all out in a cow pasture, sifting through the cow pies for seeds. It seems cows can’t digest the seeds, and they are an especial delicacy to the turkeys. Tom had his beak all covered in dung, he looked over and saw his brother was as covered with mess as he was, he turned to his brother and said, "Jerome something just doesn’t seem right."

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Matthew Keeter

commented on Jun 3, 2011

Great story, I too heard Peter Lord preach a few times and he was a master craftsman of the Word and a skilled communicator.

Brad Orchard

commented on Jan 8, 2014

I can honestly say that this sermon changed my spiritual life when I heard it for the first time in college.

Maurice Mccarthy

commented on Jan 10, 2014

Brad, I heard when I was in college also. About 32 years ago! It is a long surviving ember. Blessings.

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