Vulture or Hummingbird?

The vulture and the hummingbird have something in common.  These two radically different-looking birds both thrive in the desert.  But that’s where the similarity ends.  They find their sustenance in very different places.

Vultures, as you know, live on the smelly, rotten flesh of dead animals.  While hummingbirds find their sustenance in the colorful blossoms of desert plants.  And so, as these two birds are flying around the desert, they’re looking for very different things.  And you know what?  They both find what they’re looking for.

The same is true of people.  Some people are like vultures in that they are drawn to anything negative….anything that stinks…..anything that’s about to fail or die.  While other people are like hummingbirds.  They’re naturally more optimistic.  They appreciate beauty and can find it almost anywhere, even in desolate places.

Today, ask yourself if you’re a vulture or a hummingbird.  You probably know all too well which you are.  But if by some chance you’re not sure, don’t just give yourself a pass and assume you’re a hummingbird.  Instead, ask someone who’s close to you, someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth.  It’s possible that you’re more “vulturish” than you realize.

If you do indeed have vulture tendencies, you’re probably very unhappy and need to change.  A good place to start is in Philippians 4:8.  Paul said, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

One time when I was feeling especially vulturish, I pulled out a pen and paper and started writing down every positive thing about my life I could think of.  The first few items were kind of hard to come up with because I had to break through the wall of negativity that I had built.  But once I got going, the list grew quickly and my mood changed dramatically.  In a matter of speaking, I felt myself morph from a vulture to a hummingbird in those few minutes.

Philippians 4:8 is a very underrated verse.  It is the answer that would change countless people’s lives, if only they’d take it seriously and do what it says.

Would it change yours?

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2 Responses to Vulture or Hummingbird?

  1. Dan Plumley says:

    Very good Mark! There was an old minister we used to take communion to. His wife was a retired nurse well into her 80’s (as was he), and she cared daily for him for years. He had Parkinson’s, laid in his bed and could not get up,and could not say more than two words without shaking so bad he could not talk. But every time I visited with him, they were both smiling and nice as could be. She never once complained. He loved stories about what was going on at church and about professional baseball. To be like that is to have great faith in and love of God.

    • Mark says:

      Wonderful story, Dan. I’ve known people like that, too, and I always think of them when I encounter a vulture who’s in perfect health and has all kinds of things to be happy about.

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