Excuse my absence. Things have been a little insane here. If you’ve ever been a camp counselor for a summer-long, overnight camp, you’ll understand. However, I wanted to share a story that I heard when we were doing chapel a while ago.
Once, long ago in Africa, there was a great forest fire. It was so big that you could see nothing but flames and smoke to either side. All the animals ran as fast as they could to escape it. The birds flew, the elephants stomped and the lions sped through the forest until they came to a great river, which they then crossed. Once all the animals had reached the safety of the river, they cried out. Their home was burning up before them with all the lovely trees and flowers. It was hopeless to try and save their home before such a terrible fire, and so they all mourned and cried, watching the fire eat up everything they had known.
But one bird did not cry. The Hummingbird, smallest of the small with only the thinnest of beaks, flitted to the river and pft, grabbed up water from the river. He quickly darted to the fire and peh! spit it out! He did this again and again until some of the animals began to notice what Hummingbird was doing. “Ha!” they cried, “Look at Hummingbird! The poor creature cannot see that it is hopeless for him to try. He is too small to make any difference at all to that great wall of flame!”
And they called to him, some jeering, and said, “Give it up Hummingbird! There is no good you can do against such a great fire, you are too small to do anything!”
But Hummingbird continued to fly back and forth, back and forth, grabbing up a little slip of water and spitting it back out on the flames. The other animals continued to beg Hummingbird to save his strength, but nothing they said slowed him in the least. Then, suddenly, Ostrich turned to Cheetah and said, “If Hummingbird, the smallest of us all, is so convinced he can put out this fire, then what might we, who are many times his size, be able to do?” Cheetah nodded and the two went down to the river, slurped up some water, and ran to help Hummingbird put out the great fire.
The other animals saw them leave. At first they were confused, but soon Giraffe and Rhino had joined in. Then Elephant, Lion and Hippopotamus. Soon all the animals were working together to put out the fire! All up and down the river, animals were running, carrying water to put out the flames. Before long the last sizzle of dying flames was heard and the great fire was put out.
All because Hummingbird, the smallest of the small, began to do what everyone else thought impossible.