"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Attack of the Hummingbird

I have come to a tragic realization in recent days. Those cute little hummingbirds that inhabit my back yard and woods, daintily feeding from their lovingly prepared sugar water feeder, well, they are as mean as heck! I mean, they are cut throat animals. If a wild boar were to ever anger one of these tiny things, my money would be on the bird.
When I sit down on the deck each morning to eat breakfast, I see other species of birds feeding together at other feeders and all getting along with each other. Yet, I spy this one hummingbird watching “his” feeder from a tree branch and if another h-bird approaches said feeder, the war begins. The guardian hummer launches at warp speed with that needle-like beak seemingly aimed at the heart of the unsuspecting hummer approaching the feeder. As soon as the target realizes that he is about to perish, the chase begins. With unbelievable speeds, they dart and weave through the deck, around the post, down to the shrubs and trees until the invader disappears.
Now on occasion, I’ve noticed a diversionary tactic where one hummer comes in to draw the guardian’s attention and while the air strike gets going, another bird comes in for a quick snort before the guardian realizes he has been duped. Word of warning here…. never anger a guardian hummingbird. At that point, all of nature belongs to him, including the deck upon which I am sitting and to appease his wrath, my head has almost become a target at times.
All this time, the other bird species are happily cavorting on their shared feeders without a care in the world. Someday, that hummer-beast is going to see them being happy in their feed and they will probably become the next object of attack. And, as I said earlier, my bet is on the hummer.
Many times as humans, especially as adult humans, we get our eyes fixated on one thing so intensely that we miss out on the pleasure of life. We become so consumed with what we have and desire that we miss out on the enjoyment and purpose of our lives. The hummer-beast is so intent that no other bird will feed from his feeder that he rarely comes to drink because of the intensity of his watch. So then, what’s the point of guarding it, if he doesn’t even partake of the goodness? He refuses to share with others, so he misses out on the pleasure.
Often we Christians become so focused on an aspect of our faith that we lose track of the whole meaning…which is to love others as Christ loves us and spread His message to those needing to hear it. Yet, we get so wrapped up in the scriptures and loving Jesus that we turn off people right and left. As I have heard it said often, “they become too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” Folks, we need to be of some earthly good if we are to reach people. We cannot become so focused on our goal of Christ (the Feeder), that we miss out on ministering to those who need the Food (other hummingbirds/the unbelievers) and then attack them for wanting what we want and have (Christ/Food). As for me, I don’t want to be a hummer-beast, I want to be a sharing, happy bird that folks like and do not have to worry about my attacks and judgments.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.