June 19, 2009
Of Parrots and Eagles, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
Eagle thinkers ask the hard questions, take strategic risks, search hard for the whole truth, and soar high above mediocrity. Parrot people enjoy the predictable, routine, rehearsed words of others.
As we discussed yesterday, the church is overrun with parrots and virtually devoid of eagles. Too harsh? You decide. Who are the eagles today who offer fresh-from-the-mountain insights about world missions, biblical doctrines, evangelism, Christian education, apologetics, and the disciplines of the faith? Who are those who forge out creative ways of communicating the truths of Scripture so that it's more than a hodge-podge of borrowed thoughts and rehearsals of the obvious which tend to paralyze the critical faculties of active minds?
Eagles are independent thinkers.
It's not that they abandon the orthodox faith or question the authority of God's inerrant Word . . . it's simply that they are weary of being told, "Stay on the perch and repeat after me." Eagles have built-in perspective, a sensitivity that leaves room for fresh input that hasn't been glazed by overuse.
The church today is in desperate need of eagles---people who come to their tasks with the abandonment of that keen-minded Jew from Tarsus. If you need an illustration, read Romans. Like a careful midwife, Paul assists in the birth of doctrine, allowing it to breathe and scream, stretch and grow, as God the Creator designed it to do. And he isn't afraid to say it for the first time, using a whole new vocabulary and style that is as original as it is accurate. There's not as much as a parrot feather on one page of that one-of-a-kind letter.
So then, which will it be? If you like being a parrot, stay put. But if you're an eagle at heart, what are you doing on that perch? Do you have any idea how greatly you're needed to soar and explore? Do you realize how out of place you are inside that cage? Even though others may not tell you, eagles look pretty silly stuck on a perch picking over a tasteless pile of dried seeds.
I've never heard anybody ask, "Eagle want a cracker?"
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.