Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Oct 27, 2014 Chickens and Eagles
I was talking to a new member in another branch the other day. He is a professional boxer named Khamera. Super cool guy and really excited about learning about the scriptures and the gospel. On some weekends he goes to Thailand to fight and gets his paycheck. Someone asked him how much he usually got paid and he said that it wasn't very sure. When pressed he talked about the last fight he was a part of. If he won, he got $70 (keep in mind, there are some people here that don't make that much in a month) and if he lost he got $35. BUT, the bookies told him that if he lost they would give him $350 extra. That's a significant amount of money around here. He said he tried to win (If he wins a lot they want him to fight at bigger fights so it can be even better than the short term loss) but the other guy won. Nice consolation prize though. The sports scene in Southeast Asia is a little different than it is in America.
Earlier in the week I was teaching a group of children and their grandparents in one of the slums off the railroad tracks. Such nice humble people who are enduring trials that I can't even really comprehend. As the lesson came to a close, the grandfather asked one of his grandchildren to say the closing prayer. She is six years old though she looks like she's about four, keep that in mind. In her prayer she asked that God would, "Please have my mom stop playing cards and gambling. She doesn't need to play cards, she can just play with me and my sisters instead. And help my dad with his job so that he can keep this one and not lose his job. And help him stop drinking." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. Poor little kid.
We had a fun activity in English Class on Wednesday. In order to get our students talking and excited we taught them how to play mafia. Really, what we were trying to do is get them to argue with each other in English. It was pretty fun. Being in a classroom setting can get people to do things that they would never think of doing in the real life. If the teacher tells you to do something, you just try and do your best! We had a lot of fun. Not much to that story actually.
I want to tell a story real quick. There once was a man who raised chickens. He had several hundred chickens and spent a good amount of time taking care of them. One day he noticed an egg that seemed a little larger than normal. He however, did not pay too much attention to it and put it in the pile with the other eggs to be incubated. Several weeks later when this egg hatched, it was not a baby chick inside, but a baby eagle.
This eagle had an interesting upbringing. It was born in a chicken coop, lived with chickens, and was fed and treated like a chicken, and so it acted like a chicken. It ate feed with the chickens, scratched in the dirt with the chickens, slept with the chickens etc. Eventually though, the eagle got a little bigger.One of the older children noticed this and told his father, "Dad, there's an eagle in the pen with the chickens." The father chuckled and told his son, "Son, that's not an eagle it's a chicken. It eats like a chicken, it walks like a chicken it acts like a chicken. Therefore it is a chicken."
The son set out to prove that the eagle was indeed an eagle and so he took the eagle up on top of the chicken coop and pointed its head off to the horizon and whispered to it, "You are an eagle. Fly!" The eagle looked up at the horizon, down at the chicken coop and then hopped down and continued to scratch with the chickens. The son dragged the eagle to the roof of the house and had the exact same result. "See?" said the father. "I told you it was a chicken."
Undeterred, the son took the eagle to the top of a mountain, far from the chicken coop below. He went to the edge of a cliff and pointed the eagle's head at the horizon and whispered, "You are an eagle. Fly!" And the eagle opened it's wings and flew.
Sometimes we forget that as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father we have infinite potential. If we spend our time in less worthy pursuits we will never reach our full potential. We will never learn how to fly if we spend all of our time scratching with the chickens. Fortunately, a loving father in heaven has prepared a plan for us. When we follow his commandments we will have real growth in our lives and we will be able to reach our full potential.
Love y'all!Elder Vore