Humming While at Work!

I had a delightful experience this week standing at my front door and looking at the pots of petunias that I had planted back in the spring. They were doing fairly well even after the stresses of this summer's dry spells. While enjoying the vibrancy of their assorted colors, I looked more closely at the dozens of blooms and immediately noticed a hummingbird busily working to harvest the abundance of nectar. It was an amazing lesson in productivity!

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Did you know that there are over three hundred and sixty species of hummingbirds in North America? These ambitious little creatures are known for their intelligence, spatial memory, geographic predictability, and even social interactions with humans. With skill and dexterity, they hover over and alongside the trumpet and tubular-shaped flowers of our neighborhoods while using their elongated beaks to draw out nectar and small insects as a food source. In addition to resourcing the flowers for food, they are also pollinating them as nature's "pay back." 

When you study the hummingbird, you are immediately fascinated by the incredibly rapid movement of their wings that flutter 60-80 times a second! This rhythmic motion emits a very complex "hum" or vibration that's almost like a song in an ultrasonic range. 

Several years ago, a close friend gave me a little placard with this Ben Franklin saying, "None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing!" It was a not-so-subtle bit of advice for preachers who are known for their talking! I chuckle every time I think of this reminder. When we think of productivity, we usually speak of the ant and the Proverb that comes to mind, "Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!" (6:6). The work ethic of the ant offers additional instruction in this extended passage that warns against any slothfulness or laziness that may lead to "poverty pouncing on you like a bandit" or "scarcity attacking like an armed robber." (6:11). 

Until last week, I would have said that there was not a harder working creature on God's good earth than the ant! Now, I think I'd say that the productivity of the hummingbird may be a very close second! 

Throughout my years of active ministry as a pastor and leader of a local church, I tried to maintain a daily schedule that allowed me to maximize productivity. I often took good natured jabbing by some of my church friends who always said, "You only work one day a week!" I could have shown them my schedule book that would have proven otherwise, but I think they already knew the truth! Rather, laughing along with those friends, I found a better response as I regularly jabbed back, "Yes, I've got it made and I'm keeping this job!" 

I hope you are fulfilled in what you do and are keeping busy in the pursuit of your dreams and careers whatever they may be. I have found that being productive even in my retirement years is my opportunity to grow in my service for Christ. I enjoy teaching a small group, participating in Bible studies online, writing this blog, encouraging friends and taking care of household chores as well. I still need my weekly planner to keep things straight!

God bless you in your work for Christ! Keep working and like Snow White's Seven Dwarfs, do some "whistling (and even humming) while you work!!" 😊  

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 


  1. I have never found a verse that says that my role, assigned by the Lord Jesus Christ, as a priest was nothing less than 365/7/24! Someone asks, "Are you RETIRED?" I reply, "No, I,m REFIRED!"

    Sometimes that leads to a great discussion of the meaning, and they seem to use that term for themselves!

    1. Love your humor, dear friend! And yes, many will say that in the Christian faith there is no such thing as being truly retired!!

  2. Love it and do love my humming birds


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