Several weeks ago, I heard our Associate Pastor Jacob Elliott speak on having a mindset that doesn’t conform to this world. During his lesson, he spoke about two kinds of birds: vultures and hummingbirds.
He pointed out that vultures continuously search for things that are dead and decaying to feed on. They get their life from rotten things. They circle and hover until they can feast on the worst, and then they go and search for more decay.
Hummingbirds are different. They spend their life looking for sweet things. They hover over flowers and colorful feeders, waiting to get a sip of nectar. They are energized from this, and then they zoom away to find more sweet things.
I remember the conviction on his face and in his words as he urged us all to be like the hummingbirds. I tucked this away in the “school” section of my brain.
School is so much of my life, but this mindset applies to everything we do! In schools, workplaces, even churches everywhere, we will run into both vultures and hummingbirds. Our own minds can be a tug-of-war between the two.
While “vulture” might seem to be a rather harsh word for some, the term does describe some who are constantly negative, always looking for something to call rotten, always seeking out the bad things, and worse, once they’ve had their fill, leaving those things for dead, a lost cause.
On the other hand, I’m sure you can picture a “hummingbird” in your life right now. You see their face, their smile, and you hear their encouragement. They make it their life’s goal to find the sweet things in almost any situation. And while I’m not so optimistic that I think bad things can’t happen and shouldn’t be addressed, I do hold to the belief that “God is working all things together for our good, according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
We’re living in some crazy days right now, my friends. There is this tiny virus that is affecting the entire world’s health, economy, and way of life. I can face the truth of that. In fact, I can think about it so much that I can pick apart every news story and social media post like a vulture, looking for every bit of destruction to feed on for the coming days, until I see another news story with more death and destruction.
Or, I can be like the hummingbird. I can find some sweet bits of life here and there that grow into nourishment for my heart and soul. I think I’ll make a list right now of some of just some of the nectar that I’ve found so far…
–Many of us have spent more time in conversation with the Lord; being still, listening to His still, small voice.
–Yesterday, my church posted it’s first Youtube service, possibly reaching more people across the community, state, and world than we’ve ever had the capability to before! Churches EVERYWHERE went online and continued assembling together in a virtual sense.
–Families have spent time together, had meals together, and had conversations. I have spent more face-to-face time with my sons and husband in the last week than I have in a looooonnnnggg time. And I have loved it!
–Teachers’ hearts have broken and grown even bigger for their profession. I have really started to re-think how children learn, and while I will always appreciate structure and routine, I see that my own kids learn differently at different times that are –surprise!–not regular school hours! I will be changed as a teacher, for sure. I miss my students more than I thought possible, and when I get to step foot back into that classroom, my heart will overflow with joy.
–I have spent more time outside in my own yard than I did in any of the last four springs. My friends have, too. I’ve seen pictures of sunrises, nature trails, new blooms, and glorious sunsets.
–Social media has become more social, but more hopeful. Across my newsfeed, I’ve seen messages of hope, scripture promises of strength and endurance, and songs of praise and adoration to the God who works all things for our good. I’m sure if I was in a vulturous state of mind, I could quickly find some rotten things, but I’ve noticed a sweeter trend for sure.
–We’ve looked closely at the things that we used to take for granted, and we’ve started to count our many blessings and truly see what the Lord has done.
What am I leaving out? What sweet things have you found in the past few days that have energized you for the days ahead? I’m urging you to be like the hummingbird. Find your strength in the good that God has placed before you, and you will find LIFE!