Life Lessons from an Eagle

There are many things we can learn from an eagle about life. The eagle is the most majestic bird ever created.

First, let’s observe a few facts about eagles:

  •  The eagle is a bird of prey
  • The eagle has a very large hooked beak for ripping flesh
  • The eagle has strong muscular legs and powerful talons
  • The eagle’s eyes are 3.6 times the acuity of the humans. A human can see three basic colors where an eagle can see 5 basic colors
  • The eagle makes its nest in high trees or at the tops of cliffs and near water
  • The eagle mates for life

We’ll be making reference to these facts throughout this article, so stick with me while I lay some groundwork, then we’ll get to the meat!

The eagle symbolizes power, freedom and transcendence.

Power: the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy

Freedom:

1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

3. The power to determine action without restraint.

4. Exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one’s will thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted

5. Able to do something at will; at liberty

6. Clear of obstructions or obstacles

7. Personal liberty as opposed to bondage or slavery

Transcendence: Going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding

There are some important characteristics of an eagle that we should know about. First of all, an eagle is towards the top of the food chain. Things in the past that should be dead and buried, we should never dig up and revisit.

Secondly, eagles only flock with other eagles when they do socialize. Where do you find other eagles? Very high up, even up to heights of 10,000 feet. You won’t find other birds at that elevation.

You won’t find eagles socializing with chickens, who do nothing but scratch at the dirt all day, complaining and flapping around stirring up dust. You won’t find eagles socializing with pigeons who deliver the latest gossip and poop all over everything. You won’t find an eagle socializing with an ostrich who sticks his head in the sand and refuses to confront the world around him. And, you won’t find an eagle talking with the parrots who mimic others, so they look and sound good, but there is no substance to them.

An Eagle Defeats the Enemy

The eagle will sit in high places observing every little detail in life. He can spot the enemy from very long distances, even up to two miles away. His keen eyes give him this impressive talent. Once he spots the enemy or prey, he will swoop in with confidence, never looking over his shoulder and snatch his prey by his powerful talons from the ground or water without ever landing, then he will take his prey up to the high places and use his beak to tear away it’s flesh and have him for dinner.

She Knows What She Wants

The male will put on spectacular aerial displays to attract a good woman. He is showing her his skills and beauty. The female eagle will then test the male to find out if he is right for her and will find out if she can trust him. She takes him high up in the air and she drops a twig. The male will then chase the twig and catch it and bring it back to her. She will then go higher and repeat the process. Each time the male catches the twig she has dropped and brings it back to her. Once the trust and love and affection are proven, the pair will mate for life.

They’ve got Mad Parenting Skills

The male will build a nest, usually on the top of a very high cliff or tree where the eaglets will be out of reach of the enemy. The outer layer of the nest consists of thorns that have been laid on the cliff as an outer shell and serves as protection. The middle layer of consists of soft grass and the inner layer consists of feathers for comfort.

Once the eggs are hatched and the eaglets mature, the mother will teach them to fly. She gathers them on her back and spreads her wings and flies high into the sky. Suddenly she swoops out from underneath her eaglet and allows it to fall and learn the function of its wings. She then catches the eaglet and repeats the process until he is able to fly on his own.

If the eaglet is slow to learn, she will take him back to the nest and begin to tear the nest apart, feather by feather, stick by stick, until all that is left is the thorns. As you can imagine, this makes the eaglet very uncomfortable. She continues to tear the nest apart until there is nothing left for the eaglet to cling too. She then nudges him off the cliff. This may seem mean, but it is really the only way to teach the young bird to survive on its own.

As human parents, we do everything we can to teach our babies while they are young. When they reach the teenage years, we give them more independence and teach them the important things in life and basic survival skills. When they reach a certain age, after graduating from high-school or college, we push them out of the nest. The eagle in it’s natural habitat, can really teach us a thing or two about parenting.

 Rise Above the Storms of Life

When a storm is raging on the horizon, the eagle will use the updrafts to rise above the storm. The eagle is very conservative of its energy. It takes very little flapping of its wings and he glides effortlessly through the air. When there is a storm, the updrafts take him high into the sky until he is above the clouds, where there is only peace. He does  not use his own energy.

Many times when the storms of life hit us, we become fearful and our natural fight or flight instinct kicks in so that we either fight the storm or run and hide from it. We can take a lesson from the eagle. The storms of life are going to come. It’s not a matter of if, but when. When the storm comes, accept it and have peace in the knowledge that you are going to get over it. Just don’t fight. Don’t try to fix it. Let nature take its course and rise above the storm.

Rest, Reflect, Renewal

As the eagle ages, around the age of 40, it’s body deteriorates. His feathers wear out and become old, thick and heavy, making it difficult to fly. It’s long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey. Its beak becomes bent. The eagle is left with two choices: either give up and die or make go through a process of change. He chooses to live, so he flies to the mountaintop and finds shelter in the rocks and then goes through a metamorphosis stage.

First, he beats his beak against the rock until he knocks it off. He then waits for it to grow back. Next, he plucks out his own talons and wait for them to grow back. Finally, he plucks out his old worn out feathers and waits for his new feathers to come back in. He never leaves the safety of the rocks the entire time. The process takes about five months. With his renewed body, the eagle can then live another 30-40 years.

There are times when we become worn out from life. We need a time of rest, reflection and renew. This process begins by noticing that life has taken it’s toll on you, and then making the choice to change. It’s not an easy decision. In fact, it’s often the most difficult decision you will ever make. But you know that you cannot go on anymore without taking the time to rest in the Lord. Beat your beak against the rock, pluck your talons and feathers. Take time to reflect on areas in your life that need to change so that you can not only live but soar. Wait. Once you are renewed, you will emerge from the mountain like a brand new person. You will be ready to take flight once again. Soar through the air with little effort and rise above the storm.

Psalm 103:5

Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits: who forgive all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

 

 

 

 

 

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