Bishop Mark Briggs
Are you ever surprised when God uses something small to teach you a big lesson? More than a few times, this has happened to me. One particular time was an early sunlit morning while sitting on an elevated deck overlooking a gently flowing creek. My view was through the midsection of various hardwood limbs, and the lesson came from what was between me and the rippling water below.
A tiny hummingbird was totally still and seemingly lifeless, only 10 feet from where I sat. If you know anything about these little creatures that are like bumblebees on steroids and too much coffee, then you know for this 70 wing-flaps-a-second temperamental bird to remain calm is a phenomenon. “Why is this hummingbird not flying?” I said out loud. And, of course, just like The Good Lord intended, I searched and researched to find out why.
It’s easy to answer the question as to why they fly. Hummingbirds are migratory birds. Many of the over 300 species fly over the same familiar path of 2,000 miles twice a year. They will winter in Central America or Mexico and then travel back to their breeding grounds in the U.S. in early spring. Most of the time, they travel alone.
You might call them talented little creatures! They can fly forward, backward, and even – “Look, Mom!” – upside down. Hummingbirds are the only vertebrate capable of hovering for any period of time.
What about when hummingbirds don’t fly? Hummingbirds go into torpor – an intense, sleep-like state in which their metabolism slows down to only 20 percent of normal.
The little bird before my eyes was teaching me an important life lesson about rest. And, if I were to continue to dream and plan, I would need some rest.
Essentially, torpor prepares this seemingly insignificant little creature for what’s next. As humans doing and being, we have no problem with a vision for the future, but we often need to rest in the present.
When hummingbirds don’t fly, they are preparing for what’s next! Maybe it’s to suck the nectar from 2,500 flowers in one day or to avoid its number one enemy, the praying mantis. Or perhaps, it’s just resting before the long flight of migration.
Are you ready for what’s next?
I know flying is the cool thing to do, but it’s way more cool if you can get to where you’re going! You’ll want to prepare in order “not to faint,” Galatians 6:9.
When you see a “green pasture,” it’s hard not to run toward it and consume it when God may want you to simply rest in it. “He makes me lie down …,” Psalms 23:2.
Bishop Mark Briggs, along with his wife Laquita, are the founding pastors of Riverpark Church. They are passionate about people & helping them discover all that Christ has to offer. Mark is an author of two books, Behind the Mask of Religious Traditions and Confessions of Job’s Wife. Together Mark & Laquita enjoy fitness, playing tennis, working on their farm, and spending time with one another, their three children, and their 9 grandchildren.