Sniffing out your purpose

September 27, 2010

We went to one of our favorite spots today for a cup of cocoa and some cookies, and to take pictures of the changing colors.  While looking out at the city skyline, Diane noticed an interesting sight sitting atop one of the swings on the hilltop.  It was a Turkey Vulture.  He (or she) was about full-sized, but my guess is that it was a youngster, because it still had feathers on its head, and its beak had not turned light yet.  But looking at the Cathartes aura I was struck more by how ancient it looked.  I grabbed Diane’s camera (with her permission) and got out of the van and started snapping.  (OK clicking, these new cameras don’t snap.)  I would take a few steps and take a picture, not sure when it would fly away.  I have never gotten close to one before.

Well, its parents didn’t teach it very well because I walked right up to the thing.  Since they don’t practice anthropophagy (at least while we are alive) I didn’t worry about getting too close.  But It’s beak was long enough to eat my brain right through my eye socket if I had sat quietly and allowed it.  It was more than two feet tall, and when it finally flew off its wings had to be five feet across.  Pretty big bird.  Not a very pretty bird.

You can tell by the pictures that this bird is not a canary or lovebird.  Not a giant chickadee.  Turkey Vultures are uggg lyyy! I’m sure it’s momma loved it, but boy oh, boy.  And you know what they eat don’t you?  Dead things.  (Like us, but they don’t cook it first.)   They can smell a  raw steak (or a dead squirrel) buried under leaves from a mile away.  Just think about that raccoon you smacked the other night.  That’s why road kill doesn’t hang around too long.  The Road Kill Cafe for Turkey Vultures is always open.

So why do we have Turkey Vultures?  Because we need them.  They are indigenous to the entire continent, because there are things dying everywhere, and they clean up better and faster than time and bugs combined.

So they’re not pretty and they do a really messy job, but are a totally necessary part of our environment.  Just like me.  And you.  Just by looking at most of us, it’s hard to tell if we would be of any value besides feeding vultures and worms.  But if you go beyond looks, beyond skills, even, and go the heart of things, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  We are made on purpose for a purpose. And when we remember that, we can accomplish what is it God wants us to accomplish.  And most of us, no, all of us, are made for something more than picking at carrion, unless you are a Cathartes aura.  In which case you would not be reading this post.

So find your purpose.  Seek it, sniff it out; it is worth the hunt.

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