Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hummingbirds fascinate me. They are able to fly in all directions – even backwards - and can reach speeds up to 60 miles an hour. When in flight, their heartbeats can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute. Imagine how high their metabolism must be! And oh what thrilling air shows these feisty fliers provide with their swoops and dives! A great deal of energy is spent flying, and they spend most of their time feeding (not a bad life!). When not searching for food, they conserve their energy by perching. As the world’s smallest bird, their struggle for sustenance is hard. Fortunately, their keen senses help them to key in on their food source. They typically consume half their weight in nectar each day, so they must visit hundreds of flowers in order to survive. If they’re lucky, they can feast off of sugar water in a feeder left by a caring bird watcher. Fiercely determined, they work hard to survive.

Let’s review some of their characteristics. Clearly these smallest of birds know their goal and stay focused on it. They spend their energies working toward their goal and know the importance of rest as a way to replenish their bodies. They show perseverance by going from flower to flower or feeder to feeder in order to meet their needs.

Erlanger Hospital has chosen the hummingbird as their symbol for the fight of the cancer patient. As cancer patients lie in their beds and gaze toward the ceiling, they view the images of hummingbirds beautifully painted on the tiles. What an appropriate symbol for their valiant fight for life.

What inspiration can we as Christians get from the hummingbird? First of all, let’s see what Jesus said about our goal as Christians.

Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)

What does scripture say about staying focused on our goal and persevering?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Like the hummingbird fixes his sight on his source of life, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, our source of life and run with endurance whatever race is set before us.

Grapple Questions....
What energies do you have that should be spent living a Christ-centered life?
What hinders you from living that life?
How do you remain fixed on Jesus?

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