Jan 26, 2011

Hope and the Hummingbird

by Melinda Carroll

First of all, I've got to say that it's very hard to write for this blog.  I've been thinking of how to write something that everyone will read and be enlightened by, something that will be new and fresh and different, something that will garner hundreds of comments on how fabulous my post is.


Nope, still nothing...

So instead I guess I'll just talk about hope and the hummingbird (sounds like a fable, doesn't it?).
First, hope.  We're now into our final week of January. How're all your New Year's resolutions going?
Is your philosophy this:

Or more like this:

I'm finding that for me it's usually both.  If you're determined not to give up, then everything will happen- both the good and the bad.
One of my favorite scriptures is Ether 12:4.  I don't think hope, as the Lord defines it, is the same as hope as the world defines it.  In worldly terms, hope is a wish-- I hope something will happen (or won't happen).  In the scriptures however, hope only comes after faith.  Moroni describes it in Ether as a "sure hope" and an "anchor."  Certainly this means something more than just a wish.
I believe that the reason hope comes after faith is because it requires the vision we develop through exercising faith.  Faith is acting on something true that is unseen.  Hope, I believe, is acting on the rewards of faith, even if we haven't actually been given those rewards yet.
So how does this apply to writing?  For those of us who haven't been published, do we write as if we are confident it will happen?  Are we so sure of it, that our actions reflect that confidence?  For those that have been published, do you write with confidence that your next book will be even better than the last? Are you confident that your sacrifices will yield positive results?
I know I don't have a perfect grasp on that kind of hope yet, but I think it's something worth reaching for.

And now to the hummingbird.  A couple weeks ago, a hummingbird got caught in our garage.  I opened the garage door, hoping it would fly out, but it didn't.  Instead, it kept banging at a little window, trying to get out to the backyard.  The hummingbird could see the backyard, it knew it wanted to be there, but it just couldn't understand the obstacle in front of it.  I kept thinking that if only it would turn its head (do hummingbirds have necks?) away from the small window and look at the giant gaping whole just to the side, it would be able to get to where it wanted.  The bird just needed a change of focus, not a goal change.
Sometimes I think we're this way.  We keep pecking futilely at the same old things because we think that it's the path to our goal.  But sometimes we require a shift (which for me, usually comes in the form of some sort of challenge or trial) so that we can successfully accomplish what we really want.

That's it.  These are just some things that have been on my mind lately.  Nothing too profound, and nothing that you all didn't already know.  But thanks for letting me share.


  1. I am so glad that you shared these thoughts Melinda. Thank you. I love your hummingbird analogy and discussion about changing our perspective. I needed to read that today!

  2. I think January is always a good time to "turn your neck" and look at the gaping hole you've been missing. Love that analogy. Like Kari, this comes at a time when I needed it.

  3. Very interesting insights, Melinda. Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting new results, is simply stupid. Thanks for reminding us that making a minor shift in outlook can make all the difference in results.

  4. What a fabulous post, Melinda!

    Really, I loved it. Ether 12:4 is one of my favorite scriptures, and I love the reminder of true hope being different than the world thinks.

    Time for me to turn my neck, I think.


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