Articles by Stan Dean

“The Hummingbird Disorder”

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A few nights ago, my wife and I joined a group of people at the house of a friend for a couple of hours of entertainment, food and fellowship. The festivities took place outside where the weather was ideal and we enjoyed it immensely.

As I was sitting in my lawn chair taking in the sights and sounds of nature, there was an interesting event that caught my attention. The hosts of this gathering were apparently lovers of hummingbirds. There were numerous hummingbird feeders stationed along the wrap-around porch of their house.

If you are familiar with hummingbird feeders, then you know that most of them have at least four ports from which the birds can drink the sweet nectar stored inside. Thus, within the distance of a few feet there were enough ports that 30 or 40 hummingbirds could have drunk to their fill. But, while I was watching, there were only two birds present. You would think that these two birds would feel like they were in “hummingbird heaven,” but that was not the case at all. They were so busy chasing each other away that neither one got to enjoy the moment!

I was amused as I watched this scene play out over and over. But it also reminded me of how humans often suffer from the same problem. I will call this problem, “The Hummingbird Disorder.” It is diagnosed when people fail to enjoy their own blessings because they are too busy flitting around keeping an eye on everyone else. This disorder is caused by selfishness, envy and covetousness- - and it is far more common than we would like to admit.

Thankfully, though, there is a cure. It is found in the practice of “contentment.” The Bible has a great deal to say about contentment because The Great Physician obviously knew many would be afflicted by “The Hummingbird Disorder.”

Note these words from the Hebrews writer: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Further, Paul penned these pertinent words, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Let us be reminded that we all are abundantly blessed (cf. Psalm 68:19). And yes, too blessed to be stressed- - or distracted by what others might have. Our attitude should be that of Paul, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

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