February 12, 2020
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures. I can imagine God watching His huge elephants and mighty tigers and thinking, “We need some contrast in this picture.” So He spoke into existence those tiny birds with wings that move faster than our eyes can follow.
I have often wondered how they survive cold weather – they are so small. With no flowers around, do they depend on humans to feed them? And of all forms of animals and the competition between them, it would seem the tiny hummingbirds would be anxious to get along with each other for survival. But this is not so.
Hummingbird feeders are typically designed so that several birds can partake at the same time. However, only one time in all my years of observation have I seen two of them eat together. That was on a very cold day and perhaps their need for food overcame selfishness. Most of the time, they pester whichever one is eating until they leave.
My question is, “Why can’t they all get along?” They all have the same need to satisfy – their hunger. There is an obvious answer to that need – available food. There is sufficient room on the feeder to enjoy the feast together. But they refuse to get along.
They remind me of many creatures – even humans – who it appears would do life better together if they could cooperate. The first family on earth had siblings who could not solve their differences by talking it out. One was killed and the other denied responsibility for it.
It is possible for humans to do life in peace. The first step is to accept and value each other, followed by perspective on how best to enjoy life. Perhaps there is a question that needs to become a normal part of life in classrooms, families, churches, businesses and governments: “Why can’t we all just learn to get along?”
Pastor Bill Ehmann