A fish or an eagle?

Scripture:  Matthew 13:47-53

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. 51 “Have you understood all this?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” 53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there.

The Kingdom of heaven is for all, irrespective of race, social status, education or age. It is also a relief to know that it would be the angels, not us humans, who would come to sort out the good and the bad, in God’s proper time. But what struck me most in this passage is the fish and the importance of understanding. What kind of fish am I? I read a story that goes like this:

A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air. Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” he asked. “That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth – we’re chickens.” So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.

It is sad to say that many people are like the eagle who are living all their life as a chicken. I was like that before. I thought I knew who I was until I found out that I knew nothing at all. God showed me who I really am. Through the years, I learned that the more I seek God, the more He gives me a mirror to know myself. It is by His grace that I’m able to see and accept who I really am. And it was not easy, a lot of unlearning to do; and it was not without pain. Later on, God taught me that it’s only by knowing and accepting who I am, that I can truly love others. I would be able to understand them better and accept them for who they are. Forgiveness and compassion becomes much easier. I became more confident and stronger. I felt more free and happier, just as the Lord wants us to be.

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