March 2024 – Chaplain Newsletter

March 2024 Chaplain Newsletter
Give Up Your Small Ambitions

In his book titled “The Pursuit of Excellence” Ted W. Engstrom relates a story about an American Indian who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken.  The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.


All his life, the changeling eagle, thinking he was a prairie chicken, did what the prairie chickens did.   He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat.  He clucked and cackled.  And he flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground.  After all, that’s how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.


Years passed.  And the changeling eagle grew very old.  One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky.  Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. 


“What a beautiful bird!” Said the changeling eagle to his neighbor.  “What is it?”  “That’s an eagle-the chief of the birds.” the neighbor clucked.  “But don’t give it a second thought.  You could never be like him.”  


So the changeling eagle never gave it another thought.  And it died thinking it was a prairie chicken.


What a tragedy.  Built to soar into the heavens, but conditioned to stay earthbound, he pecked at stray seeds and chased insects.  Though designed to be among the most awesome of all fowl, instead, he believed his neighbor’s counsel; “Hey, you’re only a prairie chicken… Come on, let’s go find some insects.”

If this story sounds a little too familiar, maybe you’ve been listening to the ill-gained advice of your inner neighbor saying, good enough is good enough.  But in your heart of hearts, you know that you were created for more.  It is time to give up on the small ambitions and reach for greatness.  It’s time to soar like an eagle.  In a paraphrase of Philippians 1:10 we read; “I want you to be able always to recognize the highest and the best, and to live sincere and blameless lives until the day of Christ.

The highest and best – this should be the goal of every man and woman.

Be the best person you know how to be in your personal life and on the job.  Let’s give up mediocrity and reach for the highest heights.  That’s the pursuit of excellence!

– Chaplain Joe Fruci

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