Just a few weeks ago as part of our Spring Break activities, we went, as a family, to one of our favorite places, Bays Mountain Park. As we searched out our favorite animals, we stumbled upon an elderly naturalist volunteer as she gently balanced a black vulture upon her forearm. It was the most intriguing fowl. It was big. It was black. It was a vulture. It eats roadkill. It is not the kind of bird that is beloved or even admired. Yet, I was fascinated; for some reason I saw beauty. I saw the majesty of an eagle in this bird. I wanted to hear all about it.
As the natulralist spoke of the vulture with such endearing admiration, it got me thinking about the conversation I had just had with my therapist. He told me that as I understood myself better I would change my outlook of myself. I would learn to love myself and stop my destructive inner conversation. Well, gee, if this bird could be loved by me, why in the world could I not love me? I thought, “I don’t appreciate myself, and I don’t even eat roadkill!”
As I looked at this vulture, I knew my therapist was right. It wasn’t easy to realize that deep down I don’t have enough self regard, but it was true, and I could work to change it. But, how?
This has been the theme in my life lately. How does one change their thought patterns? How do you change the future without changing the past? How do you love a big black bird when all he does is eat roadkill?
I guess the secret lies in the roadkill. The vulture has a useless reputation because he eats roadkill. In fact when people think of vultures, they rarely think of anything besides one sitting up on a wire waiting for its next dead feast. They don’t think that a vulture is made so unique and strong that it can withstand whatever disease it may eat. Everything about a vulture seems to be designed to assist in his one big job….cleaning up the dead in nature. A vulture is uniquely useful, not useless.
This vulture held powerful wisdom for me. What if I quit thinking about my own roadkill and started thinking about my personal majesty? What if I start realizing that God prepared me very specifically? Just as he had designed the vulture, he had designed me. He may not have given me the most majestically known shell, but he designed me to be useful and he designed me to survive. He masterminded me uniquely to not just deal with life, but to soar above the roadkill.
Well, if I start to see those good qualities, those blessings, those unique abilities, then maybe the roadkill could be diminished, or at the least, shrunk back down to its view from the sky. The vulture in me could be admired and endeared. I wouldn’t have to change from a vulture to an eagle. I could just be amazing because I was a vulture. And if no one else saw me for who I was…..my naturalist would. My maker designed me. And when he loves me, and appreciates me, and is amazed when I just perform up to design, how could I not love me?