Dad! Come here!” I heard my son, Malachi’s voice, and he sounded excited. “Dad, come on, quick!” my son’s voice called again, and this time he piqued my curiosity when he added, “There’s a bald eagle!” Actually, as I walked over to where he was standing, I saw two bald eagles, both relaxing in the sun. One was sitting high on a tree branch while the other had settled on a stump. There was no net covering the habitat, so I wondered what was keeping those two wild birds from taking off. Then I read the small sign next to the exhibit: “The birds in this exhibit have sustained permanent injuries in the wild and cannot fly.” Ten feet from those beautiful birds, I just stared. These were fierce and feared kings of the sky—symbols of strength even back in ancient times. Did you know that a bald eagle can spread its seven-foot wingspan and soar up to ten thousand feet in the sky? The next time you’re in an airplane, keep your window shade up during takeoff. Then, when the crew says, “We’ve reached ten thousand feet; you may now use your electronic devices,” take a look outside. You’ll see what an eagle sees. They soar through the sky at forty miles per hour, and they can spot their prey from over two miles away. And once it sees dinner, an eagle can nosedive for the kill at speeds up to one hundred miles per hour. Eagles are at the top of the food chain for a reason!
Eagles were created to soar, not stand on a stump. And I couldn’t help but wonder how they felt. Do they miss the feeling of their beaks piercing the wind? Do they ever forget they’ve been injured and try to fly? Have they lost the desire to fly altogether? Do they stare at the sky all day and wonder, “What if?” As I stood next to my son and watched those magnificent birds who had once ruled the skies, I couldn’t help thinking about the millions of people in this world who spend their lives waiting for a miracle—waiting for life to turn in the direction they always hoped it would go. Restaurants, schools, homes, and churches are filled with women and men who feel grounded by their pasts and live in a constant state of disappointment. These are people who genuinely want to end up somewhere different from where they are currently, yet they feel stuck. They’re in a holding pattern.
Perhaps, today, right now, as you read this, that feels a lot like I am describing you. I want to say something to you today: you are capable of pursuing your dreams. You’ve been uniquely fashioned and lovingly crafted in the image of God, the Creator of the universe. You are designed for greatness. You have been created to soar, not to settle for a life of sitting on a stump. No matter what you’ve been through, no matter what wounds you’ve suffered, no matter what defeats you’ve experienced, I want to challenge you today...right here...here now...to believe that your best days are ahead and you can soar again!
Jesus, thank You for making me who I am. Remind me of your love for me and bring back to life the dead dreams I have given up on. Help me to believe that my best days are ahead and to move forward today pursuing a life filled with passion, hope, and joy. Help me to live my life on purpose for Your purpose. Amen.
What hurts, failures or disappointments from your past have caused you to settle for a life on a stump rather than chasing your God-given dreams?
What would you do differently today if you were to believe that your biggest dreams and your best days were ahead of you, not behind you?
Will you choose to believe you were created to soar and trust God for the strength you need to overcome the disappointments of yesterday?