Hummingbird Christianity

Posted: February 9, 2011 in The Word

       Have you ever watched a hummingbird? I have always been amazed by their ability to hover in one spot while they drink the nectar out of flowers. I mean, other birds can’t do that! They can fly from point A to point B (which is amazing enough in and of itself!), but they can’t hover.

       Do you know how fast a hummingbird has to flat it’s wings to achieve this? 55 times per second…

       I’ll say it again…  55 – times – per – second!

       That is a lot of flapping. Just think of that effort. I just tried to flap my arms 55 times a minute and failed miserably! Of course, God didn’t design me to flap my arms like a hummingbird. If I take a flying leap off the roof, there had better be a group of firemen holding that trampoline looking thing they use to catch people or else I’m gonna be a greasy spot no matter how much flapping I do!

       Even though this is true, the word does compare me to a bird. Not a hummingbird, but a different kind of bird:

       Isaiah 40:31

       But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

       They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they wil walk and not be faint.

       Have you seen an eagle in flight? There is no comparrison to the hummingbird whatsoever. An eagle launches out with a few powerful flaps of its wings, but before long you will see it soaring… gliding along on outstretched wings with very little effort, the master of the skies.

       How does it stay afloat without continually flapping?

       Eagles search out a spot where they can feel the warm air rising from the earth. These spots are called thermals. An eagle will spread its wings and tail feathers to catch the upward rising wind of the thermal, riding it as high as possible, then soar around until it finds a new upward thermal and then repeat the process. An eagle can stay afloat for a  long while without expending its energy… just as the verse in Isaiah tells us.

       To run and not grow weary or walk and not faint would not be possibe in our own strength, but if we catch the momentum of God’s will and go with it as an eagle rides a thermal, we will be able to do much more without wearing ourselves out. It is God’s will for us to ride HIS thermal for our lives.

       So why is there so much hummingbird christianity? It could be one of two things:

       1.   We are not designed to do what we are trying to do.

       2.  We have chosen to ride the sky without the thermal.

       We never see an eagle flap, flap, flapping away trying to hover around a honeysuckle because he is not created to do that. Even though he is powerful, he is not cut out for that type of flight any more than a space shuttle can perform like a helicopter.

       We must also be careful to search out the thermal.

       God wants to carry us through our efforts in serving Him. Finding out what God’s will is in a situation is paramount to how well the situation is going to go. If we find our thermal, we will stay afloat longer without tiring ourselves out and accomplish more for His purpose than if we flap along on our own power, ignoring the thermals and going our own way until we finally touch down early, looking at the skies, wondering how the other guys seem to soar so much higher and longer than we do.

       I choose to leave the honeysuckles to the hummingbirds. I want to soar higher and farther than I can do in my own strength.

       Show me the thermal, Jesus!


  1. Ray Ray says:

    I love that scene in “Remember The Titans” in the locker room where the big white dude sings “We will mount up with wings like eagles” and the other dude… who can sing… sang, “like eag-les y’all, like e -e-eag-les ya-a-all!”

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