Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Taste (07/15/10)
TITLE: Taste of Freedom
By Joy Bach
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The eagle’s egg didn’t belong in the prairie chicken’s nest. It was an experiment. The mother hen did her duty, sitting on the eggs and keeping them warm. Finally the time came for her little babies to peck their way out. They learned to scratch in the dirt and eat the grain scattered on the ground.
One day the baby eagle heard a new sound and looked up into the big blue sky. He had never seen an eagle soar before. He fluttered his little wings and moved a few feet low to the ground.
“What must it be like to soar … free and high?”
But he was a prairie chicken. He lived the rest of his life scratching in the dirt and eating grain scattered on the ground … never leaving the pen … never knowing he was an eagle.
I grew up in a religious atmosphere, full of rules and “should nots”. Guilt and worry were my daily companions. To be carefree and laughing meant you weren’t serious about God. Occasionally I would catch a glimpse of life outside my pen … just a taste of freedom.
“What must it be like to be free?”
But I was a Christian. I was destined to live my life with my head down, being pious for God.
Life happened. I married and had children. My husband was a preacher. My pen was very small with very high walls and certainly no freedom. I wasn’t allowed to look up and see any blue sky.
I never thought to myself, “What must it be like to soar … free of bondage?”
When my husband left us, I lived my life by rote. I knew the rules. God was watching. I couldn’t look outside the pen. There would be no taste of freedom for me.
Then came the day my brother came to my door. His words painted the picture of my life … scratching in the dirt and eating the grain from the ground. He wondered if I ever looked up. My eyes remained steadfastly down. I belonged here.
He didn’t give up. He drew pictures of a different kind of life … one that included a taste of freedom. I could soar free.
He didn’t understand. Freedom was for the non-Christian. God would strike me with lightening if I looked up … into the big blue sky … and even thought of wanting out of my pen.
Slowly … oh so slowly … my chin came up. Were his words a possibility for me? Eye contact was made. His smile told me he believed every word he was saying. But he was explaining a life to me that I had never tasted.
Hours later I finally uttered the words he had been waiting for. I was willing to try my wings … fly over the wall … and get a taste of that freedom he had been sharing about.
My wings were weak, having never used them. Life outside the pen was scary … and wonderful.
When it finally registered … deep down inside … that what God wanted for me was an abundant life, I became absolutely giddy. My co-workers accused me of having a secret boyfriend.
I had never known I was an eagle.
I’ve discovered talents that lay buried all those years. Humor surrounds me every day. Each morning is a gift. My guilt and worry have been thrown away.
And as I soar … with my eagle’s eye … I look down and see the scratching in the dirt and eating of the grain on the ground … by the people who still function as prairie chickens because they have never yet been told they are eagles.
My heart goes out to them. I long for them to taste the freedom I’ve found.
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