Hummingbird wars

All morning long I’ve been listening to the sound of flurried hummingbird wings and the tiny “cheep, cheep” of their voices raised to sound off at each other.  I’ve watched as one hummer, in particular, simply sits on the edge of the feeder or in the tallest branch of the nearest Japanese maple to maintain his guard over the feeder and the sweet home-made nectar it holds.

There’s plenty of nectar available for all of them, but he’s not having it.  He wants to keep it all to himself.  He’s a beautiful little creature…with an ugly selfish attitude.  As they circle the feeder, he hops all around the little perch bar just taking up space and keeping the others from being able to get even a taste.

He’s a bit like we are at times.

Unfortunately, the other hummers haven’t come up with a better strategy yet.  I keep wondering when they’ll have a meeting in the big oak tree and hatch a plan to take turns keeping him occupied so the others can come in for a treat.  So far, they seem determined, but clueless.

Each one is unwavering in the desire to take care of himself and because that is the case, NO ONE is really getting to enjoy anything.  Well, except for me…and my cat, Lewis.  We’ve both enjoyed the show immensely.  Oh, these hummingbirds are gorgeous, but they’re using precious energy instead of pursuing something that will last.  I’ve done that, too.

While Lewis is preoccupied with feline dreams of his own little winged treat, I’ve been thinking about how many times I’ve waged my own silly little wars.  How many times did I get deterred by something that seemed larger than it actually was?  How many times did I fail to work with others because I was so focused on meeting my own goal?  How many times did I hog the sweet spot when there was plenty of room for others with similar desires?  How many times did I look silly and selfish to others who were looking on and wondering why I thought it was so important that I be the one in charge?

I love it when God gets my attention and chooses to teach me in such gentle ways.  Today I’ve been reminded of the verse from the Song of Solomon (2:4) which says,

“He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.”

I’ll keep putting out the sugar water banquet for the hummers because I love having them around and I’ll make sure that the cat doesn’t get to them, but figuring out how to share will be their own problem to solve.  I’m just grateful God chose such a beautiful way to teach me MY lessons for the day!


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