I finally have hummingbirds as regular neighbors. Finally! I love these little guys, so much so I have three feeders specifically designed for them hanging in my garden, (by my patio, so I can watch them, of course.) Each feeder has a different type of feeding port. I even went on the internet to find out how to make my own “nectar”. I also make a bit of sticky mess, but it’s well worth the effort.
Then there’s the ants, who also like the nectar, naturally. I talked with my dad about options to keep them at bay: adhesive paper on the pole, insecticide spray, a homemade “ant moat”. Gruesome from the ant’s point of view, but I want to protect the food meant for the hummers.
Funny thing, though. Dad informed me that hummingbirds are territorial. I didn’t know that, and now it makes sense. I’ve seen some buzzing around together and didn’t know if they were just playing or fighting. Evidently, it’s their own form of dive-bombing to protect “their” food.
This morning I noticed what seems to be the “preferred” feeder is now empty. Nevertheless, there was still a confrontation between two hummers trying to get whatever may be left. Regardless of the fact that there is another more than half full feeder right next to it!
C’mon, guys, there’s plenty for everyone! Just because you don’t like the other ports as much doesn’t mean it isn’t the same nutritious food! Stupid bird brains.
Thankfully, there are at least a few significant differences between us and them, the birds I mean. One of those differences is that we can learn and grow and adapt and change. It’s not part of their nature, but it’s in our spiritual DNA.
Unfortunately, the church also has this annoying tendency to take an “us and them” attitude toward each other. We become just as territorial with…just about everything: our preferred music, our style of teaching, our traditional décor, our exclusive people. We act like hummers who only want to drink out of this particular spout, even if it’s gone dry, even if there’s a different spout right next to it with the same food.
It’s all the same food, just presented in a different package!
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all.
We can jealously guard our empty feeder, (and go hungry), or we can gratefully join in the feast coming through various “spouts”. God had provided the same nectar, at great personal expense I might add. But it’s up to us to eat it.
Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 4:3-6 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.