Throughout the summer there are various hummingbirds foraging among the blossoming bushes, flowers and trees in the yard. There are also two feeders hanging from the eave of the house available to these hummingbirds that are a part of this lovely habitat. As long as their choices were between the flowering shrubs, plants and trees, there was no problem. However, the feeders have created a problem. Some of hummingbirds have taken ownership of the feeders and stand daily protecting them from intruders (other hummingbirds). All day long, their regimented routines have been adjusted to insure that no other hummingbirds gain access to rations from the free food bank.
Their daily routines are such that we may expect them during certain intervals of the day. And, they follow through with their movements like clockwork. Except now, with free food (at the food bank feeders), there is a problem. There has been no problem over various roses and an assortment of blooming plants and shrubs all over the place. They’re all rich with color and sustenance to satisfy any hummingbird’s desire and need. There is no squabble over those flowers. No chasing or guarding among them. No confrontations, no scoping or surveillance over those flowers.
It seems that free food causes a problem in the Hummingbird Family! They seem to fare better when working to retrieve from flowers their daily rations. But ‘free’ seems to have a negative effect upon them that creates chaos and confusion among them.
There are certainly some strong implications for us of the human kind, considering that we are a part of the creation family. And, it has been my observation that when men (the human family) come to rely upon handouts, it creates dependency and feelings of entitlement. I know that it happens with the Canine Family! Doonie and Berk (our dogs) never had problems with each other until feeding time. Berk would insist upon eating his portion and Doonie’s. They didn’t fight over toys or territory. But free food was a problem. Any bone that may have been dragged from the field somewhere could be shared and they would take turns with it . . . but not the free stuff!
It may be that the human family is also adversely affected when we don’t have to work, sweat, struggle, or endure challenge for the things needed in life. Somehow, we appreciate things more when it is the product of our work, our hands, or ingenuity. We feel better about ourselves and have a deeper feeling of gratitude when we have to work. And we seem to function better with others when idleness doesn’t take possession of our time, initiative, or creativity.
Perhaps God knew that man’s adventures outside of Eden would need not only values and virtue, but something to do linked to his survival and self-concept. The man would have to work as a foundation to everything that is good and productive. And he would have to work in order to survive.
By the way, the hummingbirds are still at it outside. Chasing, taking flight in a rush, standing guard, and eating incessantly. This is their present and all day routine in an attempt to keep other hummingbirds from sharing in the surplus.
But, isn’t that the order of the world, step up and grab all the gusto you can! Never mind that there are others in need also.