Lesson from a Hummingbird


I had a day off last week and spent part of it doing some yardwork. After I finished, I went through the garage to get back into the house. But, as I was climbing the stairs, I heard a loud fluttering of wings above me. My first thought was that a large moth or small bat had gotten itself trapped, but then I realized it was a tiny bird - a hummingbird! Its wings were flapping with great intensity as the bird slammed itself repeatedly into the ceiling. It was clearly intent on flying upward, but there was no way out in that direction No doubt the poor bird had to be exhausted, and it was evident that it wasn't going to find its way out by itself.

Using my hand, I carefully guided the hummingbird out into the middle of the garage, thinking it would have no trouble finding an exit with the garage door wide open. The bird quickly found a resting spot, but when it tried to leave, it once again headed upward, banging itself into the ceiling over and over. Could it not see the wide open door with freedom just a few feet away? Why was it intent on searching for an escape route straight up? Finally, with a little assistance from Joshua, the bird made its way outside.

I couldn't help but think how much like that hummingbird we all are. The difference is that our search is for happiness and the "meaning of life." We search in all the wrong places over and over again, looking to material goods or immorality or addictive substances, all without success. And instead of seeing the wide open door that God has provided, we continue to painfully beat our heads in frustration. We try again and again without finding the happiness we crave, so we try even harder. We work longer hours to collect more "stuff", we sample something a little bit stronger. Why are we so blind that we cannot see what God has made available? He wants us to find the freedom of living for Him. Time and again, He gently nudges us in the right direction. But we're so blind (or stubborn?).

"In the Lord I take refuge...Flee like a bird to your mountain." (Psalm 11:1)

Lord, please open our eyes. Help us to see the frustration of our attempts to seek happiness apart from you. Help us to see the need to yield ourselves to your nudges as you seek to move us in the right direction. Thank you for the blessings that you have made so richly available and that you desire for us to enjoy. In Jesus' name, amen.

Alan Smith alan.smith@whcoc.com

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