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  • Writer's pictureVickie Turley

Guardian of the Hummingbird Feeders

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

As you know, I try to begin my mornings out on my deck. As I look around my yard, there are always two to three hummingbirds flittering around. I have two feeders out and I've seen that one hummingbird in particular is the "guardian of the feeders." This bird will sit in a nearby branch and watch for the others coming to feed. It then dive-bombs these poor other hummingbirds, twittering the entire time! This bird will do this over and over and I rarely see the others actually getting food from the feeder. Once the other are far enough away, the "guardian" feeds as much as it wants!

This has all brought up thoughts about myself. I grew up in a very competitive family. We were taught from an early age to BE THE BEST, and if we weren't, it wasn't worth doing. Second place meant nothing and you had to do everything you could to be first. That has stuck with me through my adult life. I constantly want to be the best at whatever I do - whether that's my work, my ministry, even my writing!

But watching these birds made me question - is that what God wants from me? Am I the "guardian" of what I do? Do I, striving to be the best, stop others from doing their best? Am I pushing others off the "feeder" to be at the top? Do I compete so much that I hinder someone else's abilities?

“So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Guardian of the feeder
Hummingbird feeder at our Airbnb

God never asks me to BE THE BEST; He asks me to DO MY BEST

In working with my counselor and listening more to God, I've found that God never asked us to BE THE BEST; He asks us to DO OUR BEST. Can you see the difference in these words? Doesn't it make a huge shift in our mindset?

In working in a competitive mode, I believe we can easily move into being a "guardian" and let's be honest, maybe even a bully. When we are working to be the best, we are pushing others away, we are not creating room for more than one at the top! We want no one's help and if we aren't the best - it's not worth our time!

When we change our thinking to doing our best, there's room for many to join in and be doing their best! There's room for people to help us, teach us, guide us. There's room to have mentors and friends who uplift us, encourage us, teach us. There is space for all, with all our unique skills and qualities, to have our place at the feeder.

Which brings me back to the hummingbirds. These feeders each have 4 posts for feeding. There is enough food for all; there is enough room for all. I hope this hummingbird let's the others join it at the feeder!

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