In a massive nest in the top of a majestic tree overlooking a clear Colorado lake lived a family of eagles. Faithful Father was a diligent provider, often leaving the nest for hours to find food for his family. Loving Wings, the mother eagle, stayed mostly with her eaglets, Fancy Flier and Lazy Eagle, shielding them from the bitter cold of winter and the drenching spring rains that preceded the splendor of summer.
One beautiful day, as the sun illumined the expanse of an azure sky, Loving Wings stood up and nuzzled Fancy Flier tenderly. Fancy Flier, content always to be near her mother, didn’t see what was about to come next. As they stood near the edge of the nest taking in the beauty of the sparkling lake far below, Loving Wings pushed her daughter out of the nest just as Faithful Father swooped beneath her, flapping his wings and urging her to do the same. Stunned, yet trusting the ones who loved her so dearly, she followed her father’s example and began flapping her wings, too. Before long, she was lifted by the wind currents, the very breath of the God who created her to soar majestically as an eagle should.
Curiously, Lazy Eagle stood by observing all that had happened, in utter disbelief that a loving parent could do such a cruel thing to a young eaglet. Determined not to be pushed out of the nest, he hunkered down in the bottom of it refusing to be coaxed near its edge. What sense did it make, after all, to leave the comfort of his nest and the presence of Loving Wings, who was always there to feed him the tasty morsels of meat and fish that Faithful Father brought to the nest after a good hunt? What more did he need than food, a comfortable nest, and the protective covering of Loving Wings to shield him from the harsh elements?
Excitedly, Fancy Flier returned to the nest, quite breathless from her first flight as a fledgling eagle. She pleaded with Lazy Eagle to join her in flight, describing the thrill she felt as she soared high in the sky seeing their world with new eyes. But nothing she said could persuade Lazy Eagle to toddle to the edge of the nest to even look at the lake below. Fear of what he did not know was so much stronger than the assurance of something better that he curled up in the nest refusing to budge.
Realizing that Lazy Eagle would never leave the nest as long as Faithful Father and she were there to sustain him with their love and provision, Loving Wings decided to take Fancy Flier and abandon the nest, leaving Lazy Eagle to fend for himself. It was the only way she could teach him a timeless truth that every eagle must learn: “The bird that will not leave the nest will never learn to fly.” Although Lazy Eagle thought it cruel of his family to desert him, he was stubborn and determined to stay right where he was, regardless of how beautiful and exciting the world outside the nest might be. Loving Wings knew that he would eventually die if he didn’t choose to leave the nest and she prayed that he would make the right choice and eventually take wing and fly, depending on the wind to carry him as he searched for food to sustain him. With a heavy heart, she and Fancy Flier flew to a cliff on the other side of the mountain where they remained hidden from Lazy Eagle. Faithful Father, however, occasionally returned to the vicinity of the nest, never pushing Lazy Eagle from it but always encouraging and inviting him to spread his wings and soar like the eagle he was created to be.
After days without food or the loving embrace of his parents, Lazy Eagle decided to risk falling to his death in order to find his wings. As he stepped out of the nest and into a freefall he prayed that somehow he would survive. As Faithful Father swooped beneath him to protect and encourage him, Lazy Eagle began to flap his wings and fly. As he rose on the currents, his family joined him and Faithful Father gave him a new name, Soaring Eagle.
Copyright © 2011 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.