Vol. 1 - No. 6 

June, 1982

More Than Wings

by Terry Sumerlin

In one of Aesop's Fables he tells of an eagle that swooped down from a high rock and pounced upon a lamb, grazing near her mother in the field. Having seized the helpless creature, the eagle, with the beating of powerful wings, carried it away to his nest.

A crow sat in an oak tree observing the accomplishment. He reasoned that such was surely an easy way to find oneself a dinner. So, spying a sturdy old ram below him, he bore down with all the strength he could muster, fully intending to carry off the ram as a prize. He fastened his claws in the wool and pulled with all his might. But nothing happened. The ram would not even have known that anything was taking place, had it not been for the crow's frantic efforts to disentangle his claws from the wool.

Finally, the crow's squawking attracted the attention of the shepherd, who came up, caught him, and clipped his wings. The crow then became a pet for the shepherd's children.

Moral: It takes more than wings to make an eagle!

We couldn't argue with that. Nor could we deny its various applications in life. But, what about the moral as involves areas of spiritual activity where talent and specific qualifications are so essential? We commend those who are faithfully filling these roles. The following thoughts are presented to inspire all of us to greater usefulness and spirituality.

We understand that one does not have to be highly educated, or schooled in some religious institution, to be what is spoken of in the New Testament as a preacher. Yet, if we are not careful, we could think that the only qualifications for a faithful and effective preacher are that he have the gift of gab, a few sermons under his belt, and some hearty compliments from brethren here and there. Surely, preachers are needed. But, to "do the work of an evangelist" (11 Timothy 4:1-5), it takes more than wings.

Likewise, it takes more than desire and appointment to make one an elder or deacon. Even after having met the qualifications and having been appointed, if one does not do the work and continue in the manner of life through which he was first qualified, he is in God's sight no more an elder or deacon than a crow is an eagle.

The same principles are true as regards teachers. As with the other areas of discussion, we would not want to discourage a knowledgeable, conscientious, qualified individual. However, we need to recognize that having a student and some material to teach does not necessarily qualify one for much of anything. Nehemiah suggests that teaching is: reading God's word distinctly, giving the sense, and causing the hearer to understand. (Nehemiah 8:8)

Finally, notice the application of these things as regards our daily lives. One warm day in January does not make summer! So also, it takes more than a few righteous deeds here and there to make one godly. Godliness must have the Saviour as its source (Acts 4:14; John 15:1-f), and transformation as its object (Romans 12:1-2). Truly, it takes more than wings.