Summary: this series focuses on how we are like the buzzard, bat, bumblebee and eagle. Part one focuses on the buzzard.
Buzzards, Bats, Bumblebees and Eagles
Are You Living Like A Buzzard?
I get a lot of inspirational emails from relatives and friends. Some of these emails give me inspiration for sermons and Bible study lessons. Recently I received such an email from my brother titled "Buzzard, Bat, and Bumblebee." As I read the email, immediately this message came into my spirit. This morning I will use an analogy comparing people to Buzzards, Bats, Bumblebees and Eagles in how we deal with our everyday situations. So the question for today is: "Are you living with buzzards?"
I. The Buzzard
You know how we often characterize people based on animals? We may find ourselves calling a man with little moral fiber a dog. When our kids make a mess at the dinner table we sometimes say they eat like pigs. When we see someone who cannot be trusted, sneaking around, we call them a snake. A lot of the comparisons we make towards one another are based on animals and/or insects living in the world around us. This morning my first comparison with be with the buzzard. As I walk you through the information, consider whether or not you are living with buzzards and/or if you are a buzzard.
Fact #1: Buzzards loves the dead. Unlike other animals that will hunt their food, kill it and eat it, buzzards eat what has been killed by something else. They are not equipped to be hunters like other birds of prey. They can fly around for hours, without even moving their wings just floating on the air, searching for something dead to eat. I remember watching cartoons while I was a child and there was always someone lost in the desert with buzzards flying overhead just waiting for the person to die. Buzzards require something else to do the work, the killing, and then they come along and finish the job by eating the leftovers.
Fact #2: Buzzards have limited vocalization abilities. Buzzards, unlike other birds, cannot make loud noises, but can only hiss and grunt. So you will never see a buzzard flying around making a lot of noise.
Fact #3: Buzzards are extremely un-aggressive and non-confrontational. When the buzzard is compared to the hawk or other birds of prey, there is really no comparison. Buzzards do not have the physical abilities to be deadly so they generally mind their own business unless provoked. When provoked, because of their limited ability (or non-ability) to fight, they will vomit on their aggressor, their primary means of self defense. This vomit is very foul smelling and deters most creatures and if gotten on the aggressor’s face, it will sting and burn.
Fact #4: Buzzard needs room to fly. The most important fact I want to share with you for this message is that buzzards require 10 to 12 feet of running space in order to fly. This need causes problems for the buzzard. Because they must have so much room to fly, they are often killed by oncoming cars when they themselves are eating road kill. They also become the victims of other predators because of their inability to take off without needing 10 to 12 feet to run and get up speed. Now here is where it gets interesting, if you put the buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, despite its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. Without the space to run, as is its habit, the bird will not even attempt to fly, but remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
II. People Are Like Buzzards
People are like buzzards in how we response to some situations in our lives. Consider the four facts I pointed out about buzzards and let’s see how we are similar.
Feeding on the dead. Like the buzzard, there are people who are spiritually feeding on the dead; dead works, dead faith and dead actions. I remember reading about a situation in the New Testament where a young man who had the opportunity to follow Jesus but requested to remain behind in order to bury his father. Turn to Matthew 8:21-22. It states "And another of the disciples said to Him, ’Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead." For many years I thought this was a very cruel response that Jesus gave this man. I mean the man’s father was dead and how could the dead bury their own dead. How cruel was it to deny a man the right to bury his dead father. It just did not seem like an appropriate response from Jesus. The fact is, I did not understand the situation. The man’s father was not dead at this time, but he was requesting to be able to stay with his father until his father died. In other words, he wanted to follow Jesus, but he was not ready to leave home, his father or his comfortable surroundings in order to follow Jesus. Jesus was offering the young man life so His statement about the dead burying their dead now seems appropriate. Those who were not following Jesus were dead spiritually and were not seeking life. Although this young man believed in Christ, he was not yet ready to give up all to Him.