Jackie Robinson made history in 1947 by becoming the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. Robinson had incredible talents, but it was sixty-one-year-old Branch Rickey who saw Jackie's potential pushed him out of the nest.
“It won’t be easy!” Branch Rickey said. “You’ll be heckled from the bench. They’ll call you every name in the book. The pitchers will throw at your head. They’ll make it plain they don’t like you, and they’ll try to make it so tough that you’ll give it all up and quit.” And then in a stern voice he added, “But you won’t fight back either. You’ll have to take everything they dish out and never strike back. Do you have the guts to take it?”
Robinson had the guts and the skills. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. In 1949, he was National League Most Valuable Player and Batting Champion. In 1955, his Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series.
Jackie Robinson soared, but it took Branch Rickey’s push to get him out of the nest.
Do a little biblical bird watching. You will find that plenty of God’s eagles soared because someone gave them a shove. Consider Mark. Mark bailed out midway through a mission’s trip with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:13). As a result, Paul refused to consider Mark for the next ministry assignment. Barnabas, however, was not ready to give up. He took Mark under his wing and taught him to soar. Later in life, a more mature Mark was once again on the front lines of ministry -- and very valuable to Paul. Notice the change in the apostle’s feelings as he writes a letter to his friend Timothy:
Please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me. 2 Timothy 4:9-11 NLT
Mark became an eagle because Barnabas pushed him out of the nest! Who has supplied the encouragement that got you soaring to new heights? Thank God and then ask Him to help you see an eagle that needs a little push.