Turkey Vultures are the birds that we see all over the southwest, perhaps more commonly called buzzards. These birds have an unsavory reputation and for the most part have earned it. However they have a remarkable ability to soar.
Soaring is flying without flapping but instead the bird uses the movement of the air to provide lift. Currents, such as thermals, created by the sun hitting a dark patch of earth or the wind cresting a hill are all expertly used to allow effortless flight.
Don’t get me wrong Vultures can fly by the traditional method. They can flap and take off under their own power, but they would prefer not to, and they are really not well suited for it. Instead they are born gliders.
For these reasons the flight of a vulture is almost always a matter of cooperation between the bird and the air surrounding it. When the bird is in good air, such as a updraft, it is a master of the skies. It will spiral and turn and never exert any effort, like a teenager floating in a backyard pool. Such is the partnership between vultures and good air.
Put that same bird in dead air and it will begin to struggle, flapping erratically. In dead air it has to work at flying. And if it ever happens to find itself in a down draft, the results can be disastrous. Experienced vultures learn to avoid downdrafts at all costs.
Christians should take a lesson from the vultures. We need to understand how to locate the updrafts for the soul. One thermal should be our consistent and frequent attendance in the worship services of our church. God designed the concept of the church for this reason and the specifics of individual churches are quite often fulfilling God’s purposes as well.
Other updrafts would be our prayer life, daily practice of personal worship and fellowship with other believers. The positive opportunities are limitless. In every case the good air will cooperate with our Christian walk enabling us to soar a little higher in our faith. It will empower us to glide gracefully through life.
But recognizing good air is not enough we also need to recognize and admit the power of bad air. Down drafts can not only lower our heights but destroy our potential. Contact with blatant immorality can and will rob many believers of their purpose and power. This is a well common occurrence, and those who see it often wonder how it happened.
The answer is dead air. In between those great updrafts and those dangerous downdrafts is a section of air that is not moving. This dead air not openly harmful, but neither is it helpful. The dead air would be exposure to the ideas of immorality rather than participation in them. Dead air is what prepares the soul to be tempted by the downdraft.
For example, every time we hear crude language, that is dead air. It softens our mind to this habit so that later we will be more likely to use vulgarity. Sitcoms that make use of sensual humor are dead air preparing us to be open to sexual immorality.
Once we learn the power these situations have on us, we can decide to avoid them. Just like the vulture cooperates with the air to soar, we can soar in our service to the Lord. Consider Philippians 4:8 (NASB) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.