This week, as ice begins to form on Lake Champlain, I have been watching a pair of bald eagles from my office window. They are big and spectacular, and they truly do soar in ways that seagulls cannot. Seagulls are a dime a dozen on the lake. Their cries are woven into my consciousness so that I can scarcely even hear them anymore. They are everyday birds, the way that I have felt like an everyday person at times in my life.
When I feel like an everyday person it seems my world is small and circumscribed. It seems impossible that I could create more money, or more opportunity, or more love, or more of anything I truly want. The view from this second gear kind of existence is stilted, though, for what I always forget at such times is that I can actually make my world as large and grand as I want.
I can enter the realm of eagles. I can spread out to a seven foot wingspan if I so desire. I can flap slowly and powerfully along the fishing grounds, and pull out a five pound salmon whenever I want one. I don't have to eat the frozen remains of last summer's hot dog bun that's looking so good to the seagulls on the beach. Indeed, if I'm truly flying like an eagle, I wouldn't think of touching it.
Everyday it becomes more apparent that I am the one who determines how big a player I will be. And it becomes clearer that the limitations I've been seeing as large and obstinate walls are only illusions, believable but ultimately untrue.
I woke up the other day realizing that if I don't stretch my vision, I am not serving the work I've been given to do. In other words, I'd be operating with seagull vision instead of eagle vision. For it's not ultimately about stretching our limits to stroke our egos, fill our pockets, or make for cool cocktail party conversations. It's about serving the work, and so serving God and others.
May you stretch your own personal wingspans in the coming weeks, and decades, to think as big and glorious as you possibly can.