The Spirituality of Hummingbirds

My wife and I are ready. We understand that the hummingbirds are only a few hundred miles away and will be arriving any day. We have our feeders filled and our flowers are starting to bloom. We are on the watch.

Linda was reading to me from a book on hummingbirds, and among the fascinating facts about them was this little nugget:

"If an average man had a metabolism comparable to that of a hummingbird, he would have to eat 285 pounds of hamburger every day to maintain his weight."


I started Scot McKnight's 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed today. Ironically, in his introduction, Scot writes about this very thing,

"Recently my wife, Kris, and I attracted hummingbirds into our backyard to feed on our assortment of feeders and flowers. Throughout a weekend marked by perfect weather, Kris and I sat on our screened porch and read and talked and visited with family and ate our meal together. We learned something that weekend about those little marvels called hummingbirds: they eat constantly. My estimation is they visit our feeder and flowers forty or fifty times a day. Instead of gobbling up an entire bottle of nectar in one sitting, hummers poke their spindly, needle-nosed beaks and extendible tongues to extract nectar from plant and feeders all day long.

Herein lies a parable for us today: many of us live as if we were designed to eat like lions, as if one big meal (Sunday) is enough to sustain us for the week. Not so. Followers of Jesus are more like hummingbirds than lions. We need a steady diet of spiritual nectar if we are to live the kind of life Jesus asks us to live."

No wonder I often feel so anemic! I am wasting away, and I don't even know it. Even though I'd like to think I'm spiritually healthy and fit, I actually look like Christian Bale in The Machinist. I've fooled myself into thinking I'm ripped like Batman, but the reality is different from what I want to believe.

As followers of Jesus, our metabolisms are set to eat 285 pounds worth of loving God and loving others per day. But our diets are woefully short of what God has intended for healthy living and we are starving to death.

It might take some time to get used to eating so much, but I plan on reciting the Jesus Creed every day and to eat deeply from the banquet of wonderful nectar found in God's Word.

Glory to God. Thanks for your food.

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