My wife and I like to take our coffee and sit out on the porch early in the morning. It doesn’t happen as often as we would like because even though we are mostly retired, there seems to be something that fills most days. So before we’re really ready to do so, it’s time to get up, get moving, and get ready for the day. Some mornings, like today, we’re just sitting and watching it rain. Other days we enjoy the nice cool early-morning breeze. If I can keep the bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds, we will watch the bright red cardinals eat breakfast. Our favorite birds to watch, however, are the hummingbirds. We have four feeders located strategically around the porch to not only provide the hummingbirds with easy access, but provide us a means to watch them up close and personal.
I’ve noticed, interestingly enough, that they have a competitive streak in them. Or it may be a possessive/selfish personality. We are somewhat disappointed that there have only been 4 or 5 hummingbirds that have chosen to eat from our feeders. We’d like to have a larger group of them to watch. But even those few birds seem to have a pecking order, you business-minded readers might call it an organizational hierarchy, when it comes to eating. We often see one or two of them chasing the others away from the feeders. We’ve watched them sit in the nearby trees and seemingly wait, watch and “guard” their feeder. The lesser birds get a quick drink and then take off as they are being chased away. But they’re persistent. They don’t leave for long, coming back for another quick go at it only a few minutes later.
They are amazing, the speed at which they fly and their ability to maneuver themselves around. In a weird way I am envious of the way they move. Not that I want to be a hummingbird, but what speed, agility, and perseverance they have. If only I could attack my problems with the same aggressiveness they use. Because of the amount of energy they must exert to stay aloft, I assume their days are consumed with getting the nutrition they need. I’ve wondered what it would be like to have to do what they’re required to do just stay alive. Every day would start with such a sense of urgency. Their entire day is filled with finding food. Their focus must be to just make it through the day. Almost everything they do is centered around getting nutrition. Their goal in life is to just stay alive. How could you enjoy life that way?
But then I think, how many of us are like the hummingbird? The alarm goes off and we hit the ground running, at 100 miles an hour some might say, jumping from one task to another to quickly finish and move on to the next, maybe not even taking time to see if our solution was a success. Our goal becomes completion in order to move on.
Do we approach our day, and our lives, just to “stay alive”? Maybe not in the literal sense, but just to make it through the day. I’ve gotten up in the morning before and thought to myself, I’m sure looking forward to today being over, to getting home and going to bed tonight and getting some sleep. If that’s my goal for the day, how enjoyable is that day going to be? Like the hummingbird, we sometimes are all-consumed with getting through the immediate crisis and completing the day. We forget to enjoy the process. There are so many good things going on around us, so many blessings that we receive every day that we never notice. I challenge you to find a moment to stop and look around and see what you’re missing, even on those days where you feel like your sole purpose is to “eat like the hummingbird” in order to stay alive. Don’t spend you day focusing on completion, spend it focusing on all the good you can find.