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Embedded in the hummingbird are five qualities that we seek to emulate in Sapphire Austria.

The marketplace is broadly defined by competition. There is winning and losing every hour. Much of what goes on behind the scenes is rather harsh and ugly, even when the product the customer sees is elegant.

By contrast, the hummingbird is wholly elegant. It is a feast for the eyes with its iridescent feathers. It moves with consummate elegance compared to the clumsy flight of the pelican or the awkward gait of a bird on land. Watching a hummingbird feed is also a marvel of elegance compared to the crudeness of a vulture or bird of prey feeding.

The hummingbird is elegant because God has placed elegance in its design. Similarly, Proverbs 31 portrays the elegance of God’s ideal couple. The woman is a serial entrepreneur. The man is in politics. Neither profession is stereotypically seen as elegant in this day and age. Yet God’s description of this businesswoman highlights her elegance in both the public eye and her private world. Her home was just as elegantly accoutered as what the public sees. The flow of work and seasons in home and business is equally graceful.

Our belief is that there is a huge deposit of elegance in us that is not generally unpacked because the culture values other things more. We become skilled, wise and socially connected because the culture rewards us for those things. Indeed, the culture often requires them from us. We are not generally compelled to unpack the treasures of elegance that God places in us, so many of His finest gifts are unnoticed and ultimately lost.

Our dream is to unpack the God-given deposit of elegance in us, so that God will enjoy watching this business as much as He celebrated the elegant businesses of the Virtuous Woman.

Most of the time, elegance is fragile. The crystal goblets have to be handled gently. The fine clothing of the debutant would not survive her pulling weeds in the garden. The welder does not wear elegant rings while working.

But with the hummingbird, elegance and endurance meet seamlessly. The migration patterns of the hummingbirds are staggeringly impressive portraits of endurance. The Rufous Hummingbird flies from Mexico to Alaska and back each year. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird can fly across the Gulf of Mexico, doing 400 miles non-stop, taking over 20 hours to do so.

Our God is the God of Seasons. Noah, Abraham, Samuel, Job, David, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul and countless others endured very challenging seasons lasting many years, as part of their walk.

We are committed to walking through good times and hard times with our relationship to our King unchanged and unchallenged. Just as a hummingbird can fly far on the resources accrued before the marathon migration, so we will not doubt in the darkness what God has shown us in the light.

A hummingbird needs a vast amount of energy in order to fly as it does. Each flower holds small amounts of nectar, so a hummingbird may have to dip his beak into as many as 1,000 flowers in a single day to supply the daily consumption and to fill the tanks for a long migration.

The Christian walk is a marathon, not a simple decision. To develop spiritual authority requires 100,000 small choices in a specific area. The same is true of spiritual skills. Mastering a ministry skill does not come cheaply.

We are committed to working out our salvation with immense diligence, doing the small things well, instead of simply looking for the miracle that will fix everything for us.

The hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its total body weight. This is the largest proportion of any bird. Simply put, the hummingbird has more brain power than any other bird, regardless of class or size.

We feel that after 2,000 years of church history, there is still much to be learned from the Word of God. There are treasures about our spirit, soul, body, birthright and the world around us that are woven into the pages of the Bible.

It will require diligent, focused research to mine those jewels and bring them to the Body at large. This we delight in doing. We know not what treasures will flow from Sapphire Austria, but we are committed to seeking truth, testing it rigorously and enriching our community with those tools God shows us.

Hummingbirds are fiercely territorial but not in an offensive way. A hummingbird does not attack any other bird or steal their nests or food supplies. There is simply nothing predatory about this bird. However, once they have found an unclaimed place and they build a nest, they are fierce about protecting their offspring.

We hold the same values. We take nothing from others. There is not a shred of jealousy in us for anything God has given anyone else. We are not in competition with any other business or ministry.

But on the other hand, we believe God has given us a birthright. As He brings to us those whom He has selected before the foundation of the world for us to invest in, we will nurture them tenderly while protecting them fiercely. Like a hummingbird does.

Sapphire Austria

June 2014