Human Nature - Bird Nature

I am sad today. A young hummingbird flew into our house yesterday, and the situation did not end well. We have cathedral ceilings, and it flew straight up to the 16-foot-high peak and stayed there. For most of the day, we tried batting it down toward the door. We blocked off the light in all the living room windows, leaving the only source of sunshine beckoning through the open door. We tried luring it toward the door by placing the red hummingbird feeder where it would spy it and then make its escape—all to no avail.

I am not a hummingbird expert, but it seemed that the bird’s instinct when in danger, was to fly up and stay up, even when, after hours of flying back and forth, it continued to be trapped. Trapped not by circumstance alone, but because it could not override its instinct even when an alternative action was necessary for its survival. Around nine o’clock, it quit flying and perched at the highest reaches of the ceiling. Around midnight it fell. I did not see it land but found it shortly after lying on the floor. It was stiff, and I am guessing it had died earlier in the night—resolutely clinging to its instincts.

I picked up the tiny body and thought how like that young bird, I often am, anxiously caught up in my human wants, needs, and habits. I act on my sinful human nature oblivious—or not so oblivious— to the fact that those actions are harmful. How many times does my heavenly Father warn me away from my destructive inclinations of anger, jealousy, discontent, and unforgiveness? His Word offers guidance, love, contentment, and forgiveness. Yesterday’s tragedy was a simple reminder of God’s grace, overriding my destructive instincts, and repeatedly rescuing me from dangerous heights.

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