The Parable of the Owl

Once upon a time, there was a owl.
And a critter.
And a large Suburban.

You can guess how this story ends , right?

A couple days ago, we were returning home from a cross-Texas vacation. As we drove late at night, we had our eyes open for deer, since they are the more common road hazard. Somewhere in the middle of Texas, we saw a flurry of large white wings flying right into the roadway. Johnny hit the brakes, and we braced for impact with a massive bird. With a thump and a crack, the event was over. Our windshield was cracked, and the bird was gone. The entire event happened in about 3 seconds

Our hearts racing, we checked that everyone was okay in the car. The girls were both still sleeping, but Simon asked, "What was that?" We responded that a bird hit the car. Then, our smart four year old replied, "That was a bad choice."

Since the adrenaline in our veins had us wide awake, we spent time talking about what had just happened. We assumed the bird must have been an owl. Owls hunt at night, and owls are big creatures. We saw its large wingspan and its multitude of thick feathers before impact. Luckily, the owl didn't come through the windshield, and the crack was horizontal along the lower glass. Eventually we'll have to spend a good chunk of money to replace the window, but our family was safe! Whew!

As my husband and I talked about the owl, we realized that the owl did make a "bad choice" in flying across the road. We figure the owl must have been hunting a critter. Some tasty morsel tempted him to fly low into the roadway. Whatever the reason, the owl is now (most likely) dead because of its choice. As big and strong as the owl was, he was no match for a 2 ton vehicle driving at 60 miles an hour.

So how does this event apply to humans?

We all have "critters" we are chasing. We hunt for things in our own lives. Some of the things we seek after are good, but some of the things we desperately hunt down are not healthy.

Are you placing yourself at risk by chasing addictions, power, or prestige? Do you hunt for worldly fame and recognition to the detriment of your family or self-esteem? Do you seek after food so much that you are at risk for health problems? What could be keeping you from a satisfying family life? Does anything pull you away from supportive friendships? Even good things can get in the way of "better" things. Like in this post.

Hopefully our bad choices and bad habits don't lead us down the owl's path. It's worth taking some time to ponder on your "critters," and how you can course correct if necessary. Decide not to follow something in a dangerous roadway. Choose safety and happiness instead.

What might your "critter" be?

You can see the dust outline from feathers and a long scratch up the hood from the bird. We guessing the scratch is from his beak.
The windshield is cracked in a curve along the bottom of the window.

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