I have had a hummingbird feeder hanging on the front of my porch for a couple of summers now. So it’s not unusual to have those captivating little fellows come by while I sit here and write or pray or read or just reflect.
It is fascinating to me how they fly and hover and even eat without so much as a pause in the movement of those wings that can hardly be seen for their rapid motion. What amazing creatures they are!
But lately I have noticed something I had not observed in times past. The hummingbirds will very often come and look at the feeder, fly around it for a moment, and never eat. I have attempted to do something helpful. I have provided sweet nectar for these delightful birds. But, at least for the last couple of hours, I just almost fed a hummingbird.
Now, I read that hummingbirds need to about 100% of their body weight in this sweet nectar every day plus as much as 2000 tiny insects. So… why don’t they eat it?
It strikes me that this is a familiar thing to me. I have been pastoring for over 17 years. If there was a way to count how many people had come and observed the things I prepared to feed them, even listened to the words, and then simply failed to really take them in… my guess is that the numbers would be gravely disheartening.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I have assembled such great wisdom and insight from the Scriptures that people should just gobble it all up and set immediately to attempting to live it out in their lives. But I have never stood up to speak without opening and seeking to draw our focus into the Scriptures. And every time we do that, there is something that we all should indeed gobble up.
I think it’s the same idea that our brother James was pointing to when he warned us not to simply hear the Word, but embrace it and do what it teaches us to do.
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who look intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” (James 1.23-24)
So often I am guilty of this very thing. I sit down to read my Bible and I see the words on the page. I see the ideas being expressed. But I seem to be unwilling to let it change me or adjust my course, much less re-direct my plans or actions for the day. I fly up and take a look at the feast of truth before me that I know that I need… and then go on about my business the same as I was before.
But am I really the same? Have I not just hardened myself against the penetrating work of the Word just a little?
I am like that hummingbird, though I’m sure he finds nourishment somewhere else. The nourishment of my soul comes entirely through the wonders of the Word of God. May God help me today and always to stop and eat.