It always seems slightly cruel to me when a young bird is kicked out of its nest and forced to fly for the first time.

The chick always seems hesitant to leave and its first attempts at flapping its wings seem clumsy and ungainly.

In that moment, it’s vulnerable and for a few moments it looks as though it will be unsuccessful.

Then something remarkable happens.

After all of the seemingly futile flapping, the bird launches into the sky.

And in that moment, it transitions from a chick to a bird, from a creature that belongs in a nest to a creature that belongs in the heavens.

We have similar stages in our lives as well.

When we try something new, especially something grand, it seems uncomfortable at first.

Watching someone lead for the first time, or speak in public, or build something, or wrestle with a problem can be like watching a train wreck.  We want to look away, but we can’t.

We don’t like being uncomfortable, especially when we know (or suspect) that people are watching, so it becomes easier to stay with what we know.

So we stay  in the nest.

But that’s not how we’re meant to live.

We are called to something more daring.

We are called to make more mistakes, to look clumsy and to be vulnerable.

Because that’s what it takes to learn how to fly.

We are not meant to be creatures of the nest, but creatures of the heavens.

So, the next time you see someone looking uncomfortable as they learn a new skill, don’t cringe and look away, encourage them in their efforts.

And the next time you’re tempted to remain in the comfort of what you know, remember that your full potential isn’t found where you are.

Because you’re meant to fly!

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