How well do you adapt to changing conditions? A little bird inspired me to consider my normal response to change.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
A Not-So-Tropical Hummingbird
“You might have something in common,” my friend said, turning to my new acquaintance. “Anita loves hummingbirds, too!”
“Really?” he said. “Do you photograph them?”
“I try,” I said, pulling out my phone to show him a few examples of photos I’d taken.
He studied them closely. “These are great,” he assured me. “I like to photograph birds, too.” He pulled out his phone and scrolled through his photos before turning his phone towards me. “Here’s my favorite photo of all time.”
An Anna’s hummingbird hunched on a thin branch as fat snowflakes flew all around.
“No way!” I said. “Where did you find a hummingbird in a snowstorm?”
“At 11,000 feet in Colorado,” he said with a grin. Another conference attendee caught his attention and he parted with a smile and wave.
His photo stayed with me, though. How could a tiny little bird survive rapidly changing weather conditions? When one thinks hummingbirds, one thinks balmy weather, flowering plants, and fights at the feeders.
A Case Study in Changing Conditions
Further research revealed the adaptability of Anna’s hummingbirds, though. In the 1950s, their limited territory included southern California and Baja California. But as home gardeners started planting exotic plants further north, Anna’s hummingbirds seemed to follow.
By the 1970s, residents as far north as British Columbia reported sightings of the tiny birds. In 2017, Vancouver, British Columbia adopted Anna’s Hummingbirds as their official bird. In part because Anna’s hummingbirds routinely stay year-round in the coastal city.
Anna’s hummingbirds have adapted to changing territory and seasons in ways ornithologists never expected. Very few hummingbirds spend winters in cold places, but Anna’s hummingbirds do. In less than a century they have morphed from warm-weather birds to birds who survive changing temperatures and climates.
When I get discouraged about my ability to change, I remember Anna’s hummingbirds. No one expected them to change and thrive in the ways they have over the decades.
Furthermore, I have a God who sees my future—along with all the rough patches I’ll experience along the way as he works in me. Changing me from my old self into something useful and beautiful for him.
How do you deal with changes?