Right outside the sliding glass doors next to my desk are two hummingbird feeders set up for me to watch the little birds. Among the things that fascinate me about birds in general, and especially hummingbirds is how it seems they spend their entire lives fighting each other. Birds are not nice to each other at all.
Even with two feeders and 16 individual feeding holes, there are some hummingbirds whose entire life's mission is to chase off any others who come to drink. Even as I just typed that line, one of the aggressive ones took off chasing another one who tried to come near the feeders. Meanwhile at the other feeder three birds are drinking paying no attention whatsoever to each other.
We used to have chickens and there was within the flock a most definite "pecking order". Just as with dogs, horses, wolves and other animals; there is one within the group who is the self appointed king of the hill. It has always intrigued me who designated that one to be "alpha" animal of the group. Did they hold an election? Did they draw lots? Did they do a Â€Âœlast bird standingÂ€ competition?
Whoever assumes the role of being the dominant one within a group usually does so through intimidation. If everyone else is afraid of them, then they can rise to the top. This of course is somewhat akin to the way the mafia works. Eliminate your competition and you win by attrition.
It is truly sad to see all these things happen within Christian groups. Instead of trying to work together, many times someone (or many ones) are more interested in either becoming the leader's "pet" or the leader himself. The ensuing conflicts that arise are never pretty and often very injurious.
Just as there is plenty of red liquid for all the hummingbirds to partake of if they only would share, so there is plenty to do within our Christian fellowships besides teaching, preaching, being worship leader or director of this or that committee. The person who makes meals for the homeless is just as important in God's eyes as the one giving the sermon on Sunday morning.
As children we are taught to share. Some learn this lesson well but many do not. As children grow older there are some who willingly share of their toys, snacks and abilities; but there are also some with dominant personalities who seek to become bullies and TAKE instead of sharing. In time, those bullies chase away the others just like the few dominant hummingbirds spend their whole day trying to make sure they are the only ones who get a drink.
I see absolutely no spiritual justification whatsoever for such aggression within our Christian fellowships. To the contrary, Jesus taught us to give up our spot to someone with greater need. Jesus taught us to take the nectar to someone in need. Jesus taught us to squash the desire to be number one and instead humble ourselves before God and each other.
If, as Christians, we would just spend more time trying to make peace and seek common ground and less time arguing and trying to slam our beliefs on everyone else; perhaps we could see more of the unity Paul advocated in Ephesians. If we would simply decide to spend less time proving to everyone how great and smart we are and instead concentrate on giving, serving and doing unto others what we want done unto us; then we would all be able to enjoy the sweet red liquid these hummingbirds love so much.
Amen and amen brother!! Strife within the church must end! We forget that in Christ the greatest shall be last and the least first. Those who seek elevation within the church need to realize that elevation means being a servant, humble and meek.