Eagles prefer to fly alone and at high altitudes.
While on the St. Johns River this past weekend, I had hoped to see an eagle in flight or perched high in a tree shopping for prey. I didn't see an eagle this trip, but I know they were there. I didn't see an alligator either, but I know 30,000 of them lurked below the surface of the river.
The majesty of an eagle in flight is inspiring to watch. I know this because I saw an eagle fly inside a chapel service for college students. The chapel has a very high ceiling and lots of glass windows. The eagle was trained to be released to its master waiting on stage with a plump mouse for a morning snack.
The trainer's assistant was instructed to wait for the eagle to spot his trainer and the delicacy waiting on stage. On this day, the soon-to-be-dismissed assistant trainer became a little excited and released the bird—too soon.
So the eagle did what eagles do. It flew high, made a graceful turn and spotted a tree outside the chapel that apparently offered an appealing perch. As the eagle gracefully soared, or rather smashed, directly into the chapel window, students gasped and one cried out "the eagle has landed."
The eagle laid upon the chapel floor, majestically motionless. The ceremony screeched to a halt. Students cried out "Is he dead?" Not surprisingly, girls began to cry and pray for healing. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook lit up with pictures, commentary and even a complete video of the unfortunate physics lesson. Yes, this event is captured on YouTube.
After what seemed like hours, the white head began to shake. It seemed the bird had only been knocked out. We don't hear much about knock-out punches to eagles. But news reports a few days later claimed the eagle was recovering well in concussion protocol. No flights for six weeks. Rumors about the development of an eagle helmet for flight training were greatly exaggerated. Happily, several mice were granted life extension.
There are several leadership principles to take away from this true story:
1. Don't expect an eagle to fly inside walls.
2. If an eagle doesn't have a clear goal in flight, it will fly aimlessly, and smash his little head.
3. Even eagles will fall to the ground, if poorly trained.
4. Pigeons aren't invited to show off in staged air shows.
5. Eagles just want to fly.
Eagles are not created to be limited by man's idea of a good show.
"Does the eagle mount up at your command and make her nest on high?" (Job 39:27).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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