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 The Eagle, full of the boundless spirit of freedom, living above the valleys, strong and powerful in his might, has become the national emblem of a country that offers freedom in word and thought and an opportunity for a full and free expansion into the boundless space of the future.
–Maude M. Grant
Generations time and over again find a soft spot for the Eagle and by thus find a place for learning within its course and life. Kings and kingdoms from ancient civilization even to our modern context find the Eagle relevant as their symbol of representation. Rome’s standard and symbol of legion was the Aquila. The Aquila was an Eagle-shaped symbol that was of extreme significance to the Roman Military. The world’s greatest empire then used the Eagle as an emblem of its strength and power. United States of America, the most powerful nation in the 21st century still finds the Eagle worth representing its strength and sophistication. The National emblem for the USA is the Bald Eagle. 
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Iceland, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Yemen, Zambia and my own homeland Ghana are all countries among many others that find essence in using the Eagle as a symbol of national emblem. This post attempts to answer and provoke a thinking around the single most piercing question of why the Eagle among many other things has such significance in religion, nations and cultures all around the world.
My fascination with Eagles was heighten when I discovered a very profound scripture in the book of Proverbs chapter thirty verse eighteen and nineteen: ” There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” These are four incredible concept of wisdom summed up in a single statement of awe and excellence besought of deep curiosity. Dr. Bill Newman in his book Soaring with Eagles, provides tastes for seeking some of the mysteries of the Eagle. I share some of the reasons why the Eagle inspires nations and remains the wide representation of leadership, honor, and all that ruling and reigning is about.
  1. Bill tells the story of an unborn Eagle which must break its own shell for existence as the beginning to his first chapter. The representation of the Eagle is one that bear true independence. The newly hatched Eagle keeps jumping, hopping, stretching its wings and voluntarily flying right from its beginning. Dependency can be a deadly clutch to hang on but unfortunately most of us grow with no sense of responsibility and confidence in our own ability. The Eagle knows its wings are meant to soar the highest part of the skies and by thus it does not rely on anybody to take it to the heights. Africa my home is overly dependent even after years of assuming independence. The spirit of the Eagle is primarily one of a boundless spirit of freedom, a limitless launch into its potential. True independence is a need and prerequisite if true heights of greatness must be achieved.
  2. I have often wondered about how the Eagle manages the tides, storms and harsh cold conditions. I wonder how it glides pass flow of wind that are against it. It is amazing to learn that the Eagle harnesses whatever natural force there maybe to hinder it. For instance, the Eagle has a way of locking its wings to allow itself to be born and propelled by tides instead of exerting energy against it. The Eagle understands clearly the environment it operates in and adapts to the changing times appropriately. The Eagle knows how to live successfully in changing times without complaining and hanging on unto old way. Advancement, change, growth and taming the wild is the joy the Eagle pursues.
  3. The incredible vision of the Eagle is one of its most spoken-of feature. It is said the Eagle can clearly detect a moving mouse while it soars hundreds of feet above the ground and yet keep an accurate sight over a five-mile area at the same time. This is an amazing description of sight and vision characterized by two fundamental truth, accuracy and long-range. The challenge and lesson to learn is to grow pass vague and parochial thinking. The Eagle is a sign of precision of vision yet broadly and widely encompassed.
  4. Courage is for Eagles. The Eagle is one bird which is never afraid to attach or go for what it must. It has the courage enough to be patient, the strength to be focused and tact for persistence. Courage, as often agreed on is not the absence of fear but the boldness to confront fears. An Eagle is never timid!!! A spirit we must pray and encourage in the African.
  5. A common usage of the Eagle in the Bible is the reference to its ability to renew its youth. Youthfulness is passion and zest, its energy! Gracefully the Eagle never runs out of energy. It retreats, plugs its old wings, and gathers fresh energy on its wings to soar. Renewal is the breath of freshness we all need when we get stale, old and weary. Energy is the driver and the Eagle never runs out of it until death.

These are five noble characters among many others that endears the Eagle to all of us including God who created it.

Let me end with a reflection from the prophet Isaiah, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” I believe there is no place to harness and birth the spirit of the Eagle within humanity better than the peaceful corridors of worship in the presence of the Lord. May we find ourselves back to the arms of worship that we may find our reflection as Eagles in Jehovah!

    Yaw Sompa

    Author Yaw Sompa

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