The gate was firmly closed, but the entire little flock was twitterpated. As I approached the fence, I saw the problem: an enormous raptor – a rough-legged hawk – in the pen with my chickens! He flew off as I approached, but he took his time doing it. His huge wings spread out and sent the birds into new paroxysms of terror.
Since chickens will often keel over and die from a heart attack after a stressful situation, I fully expected her to be gone by the end of the day. Surprisingly, however, after 15 minutes or so in a near-comatose state, she stood up, stretched, ascertained that the executioner was NOT nearby, and ran out of the coop as if nothing had happened.
While the hawk terrifies my chickens and could destroy them, he is not really a nuisance to me. I often see him at the back of our property when I am riding, and he never fails to inspire awe. He is magnificent. Just having the opportunity to see something like that is one of the reasons I love where we live.
But there is no denying the fact that he is a real menace to the chickens. They are not equipped to deal with him. They would literally rather die than confront him. They cannot see the beauty and power that he holds. They will never soar where he does.
Ah – of course there is a lesson in all this. When the raptor of success comes knocking at your door (and it will, if you give it half a chance and put yourself in a position to encounter it), will you be inspired to reach within yourself and rise to new heights? Or will you cower in a corner, give up without fighting, and wait for the end to come?
I once did a book edit that ended up becoming a total rewrite because of such a raptor. The original writer was so impossible to reach, I dubbed him He Who Will Not Call. His representatives informed those of us working on the book that Himself simply could not be burdened with any more work at this time. He was going through a Difficult Period. He was Very Busy. He was indisposed.
Things got so bad, the publisher was forced to send all communications via certified mail just to verify that HWWNC received the materials.
|If I stay here, it will all just go away...|
Instead, however, he probably only saw the amount of work still to be done. And since he had never written a book before, the task must have looked as daunting as an Araucana hen fighting off a bird of prey. So he chose to give up – to cower in a corner in the coop and pray for a swift end, so we'd all stop bothering him with editorial questions.
There’s a lesson here, and it’s an important one. When you agree to tackle a new project – something you’ve never done before… something that scares you… something that will force you to learn new things in order to finish it -- decide at the outset how you will face the inevitable challenges that arise.
Will you crawl into a hole and refuse to come out until all possibilities of success have passed, thus making your fear of failure a self-fulfilling prophecy? Or will you find a way to find the strength to leave the confines of the comfortable behind you and soar toward success?