Ode on a Hummingbird


Yesterday, I finally got David to dig my hummingbird feeders out of our storage falling…I mean building. As I’ve spent more time outside in recent days, I realized there were several hummingbirds flying around, apparently looking for something to eat/drink. And seeing that I didn’t plant even one outdoor flower this year (don’t judge), they were coming up empty.

So, I cleaned up the feeders, made my “famous” hummingbird juice and filled them up. I put one out in the front yard, and one out in the back. I’ve spent some minutes watching both. It didn’t take them long at all to find the feeders (in fact, the front one is already empty…silly little humming-pigs). So I’ll make more.

I’ve always loved having hummingbird feeders. They’re fascinating little creatures. And having watched them through the years, I’ve found that there are several good lessons we can learn from the hummingbird.

• It’s obvious that a hummingbird is an itty-bitty. And, as an itty-bitty myself, I sometimes see that as a limitation…a hindrance. A hummingbird weighs approximately as much as a penny…about 2.5 grams on average. But its size allows it to hover like a tiny helicopter. It can fly forwards, backwards, sideways, and on occasion, upside-down, if it needs to. They can speed their tiny bodies up to 30 mph in flight, And if they need to dive, they can reach speeds of up to 60mph. The hummingbird doesn’t allow its size to determine its abilities.

• A hummingbird will stand it’s ground come hell or high water. I sometimes have seen this as being very selfish, because, as I watch them, at least one will become the “alpha-hummer” and fight to the death to keep the others from the nectar. They can get extremely aggressive if they need to, especially against bigger birds that want to come join in. But the itty-bitty won’t hear of it…and will often lunge at a larger bird to tell him to back off. No way is he letting the big birds push him around. He doesn’t let his size determine his strength.

• I read once that a hummingbird has a photographic-type memory. It can remember the exact location of every flower and feeder it’s visited. That comes in handy when you travel back and forth, north and south, all during the year. Hummingbirds don’t let their size determine their efficiency.

• Hummingbirds have a unique, iridescent coloring that sets them apart from other birds. Did you know that a hummingbird is able to adjust how brightly their colors shine? When the sun catches them just right, they shine like no other. They don’t let their size determine their grandeur.

So, maybe it’s not your physical size that’s hindering you. Maybe it’s something else standing in your way: your age, your race, your weight, your inexperience, your disability, your past. Maybe it’s a habit, a hangup, or a hurt that keeps bobbing to the surface. Don’t let that get in the way of how God formed you and what He made you to do and be. I believe that if the hummingbird were given a choice, and he based his decision solely on his physical appearance and apparent limitations, he’d sit in his tiny little recliner all day eating sunflower seeds and watching National Geographic.

But he flies…he soars…he stands his ground against the bullies and the pushers…he depends on God to provide the necessities, and then, in the light of the sun, he shines brightly to show God’s glory.

How about you?

Published by leeannramsey

Pastor's wife. Mom. Friend. Musician. Writer. Artist.

3 thoughts on “Ode on a Hummingbird

  1. Love this!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful insight. (Although, personally, I think hummingbirds watch Bravo! in their free time…but National Geographic is good, too!) 😉

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