Turkey or Eagle

But those who hope in the Lord
 will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    run and not grow weary,
    walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Driving home one day a turkey flew in front of my truck. I felt so bad for him. He flapped his wings with all his might but never got more than eight feet off the ground. Fortunately, no other vehicles came by as he clumsily flew across the two lane road. With his tail feathers spread and his neck stretched long, he put every ounce of energy into getting to the other side before some oncoming traffic could take his life.

Not one-tenth of a mile further, a little bird darted across in front of me. I couldn’t correctly identify the little guy because it moved so quickly. About the size of a sparrow, he flitted by in a flash. It made me wonder if the turkey ever felt frustrated with his limited flying ability. Does he ever envy the sparrows or hawks? He had to be winded by the time he landed, while the second little bird danced with no effort.

The whole picture quickly brought to mind our Christian walk. How many people do I know who feel like turkeys? It seems as though they can’t get anywhere, while others speed ahead, getting the better view and all the fun. After all, a turkey never gets to coast along on the breezes or just play in the wind.

Isaiah 40:31 is a familiar verse. But Isaiah did not say strut like turkeys. It’s not God’s plan for us to become weary or grow faint. We weren’t created to struggle through life, we were created to soar.

Turkeys don’t have much choice in the matter. God created them to strut. Fortunately, they run pretty fast, and the wild ones blend in with the brush well, so they can escape from predators. But when a turkey hears the phrase “bird’s eye view” he must get pretty confused. After all, what’s the big deal about the perspective from eight foot off the ground when you’re working so hard just to keep from crashing? Yes, a turkey’s lot in life is sealed.

But we are blessed. When God created man and woman, He gave them the freedom to choose to serve and trust Him or live for themselves. We know from history that the ones who chose the independent route generally end up living like a turkey. It’s a life full of hindrances and entanglements. The burdens of the day to day keep them from truly flying.

But those who live like eagles trust in God for every aspect of life. They “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles.” (Hebrews 12:1) Living like an eagle means allowing His power to work in us. And we discover God is able to do immeasurably more than they can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) These followers of Christ have learned to wait on the Lord, and unlike the turkey, we can choose to be one of them. We can walk and not grow weary, run and never faint, and best of all, we can soar.


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