Vulture Syndrome

Maybe it’s because I’m in the car a lot, but I tend to see a lot of things that turn into blogs while I’m driving. Case in point, the vulture.

As we were leaving town the other day, there was a vulture feasting on some form of hill country road kill. This road kill, however, was halfway in the road, halfway in the shoulder.  And the vulture was most interested in the in-the-road part.  As we drove closer and closer, the vulture refused to give up his morning meal.  Because of the road, I wasn’t left with many options.  It was move or be hit for Mr. Vulture.  And given my strong dislike of birds, I probably wouldn’t have shed a tear over having one less bird in this world.  Seconds before my car reached his dining spot, he jumped out of the way.  I glanced in my rear view mirror to see him right back in that spot in the middle of the road feasting again.  As I stopped at a red light I looked up again just in time to see that vulture become road kill himself as the truck behind me could not avoid a collision.

As I passed that spot again coming home, I realized something.  At one time or another, we’ve all been that vulture.  Of course, not literally feasting on road kill and hit by a truck.  But engaged in a self-destructive behavior or lifestyle that is leading us down a path where pain, heartache or maybe even death are the certain outcome.  We’ve all had something in our life…a relationship, a substance, a habit, an insecurity, an attitude, the list could go on…that so consumes us that we are completely unaware of the danger we’re in.  We see the first collision or two coming and dash out of the way just in time.  But as we become more consumed by that “something” we eventually grow blind to looming consequences around us.

And then…BANG…what seems like out of no where, that truck hits us.  That seemingly unexpected event that suddenly jolts us back into reality.  That (hopefully) allows us to see the danger that we’ve placed ourselves in, the destructiveness of our path.  For some of  us, it takes a few of those “BANGs” to really get our attention.

We’ve feasted on something that can’t be good for us and now the broken pieces are all we have to show for it.  But, unlike Mr. Vulture, there’s good news for us.  Most of the time that first “BANG” isn’t the end of the road for us.  If we’ll let God use it, it can be a beginning.

We serve a God who, because He loves us, allows us to suffer the consequences of our poor choices.  He’ll send warnings along the way to try to help us off the path, but won’t pick us up and move us if we’re unwilling to listen.  BUT, He’s right there when we’re ready.  He’s right there when all we have are the broken pieces and He can put them back together in the most beautiful way.  He wants to take our vulture syndrome and road kill experience and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece.

“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:28

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