The more I come to learn about bees the more I’m amazed by them. They work tirelessly. During the active season, the lifetime of a worker is five to six weeks. Over the winter months they can live for much longer. Whatever their life-span, worker bees usually confine themselves to one task at a time, working without pause. If they are field bees, they may be scouts or collectors. Scouts look for sources of nectar and pollen. Once suitable sources are located, the scouts recruit additional foragers. Nectar collectors, pollen foragers, water gatherers or propolis gatherers (sap from trees to build their hives) work so single-mindedly at their jobs, they won’t stop even to collect honey placed before them.
During the day, one may see hundreds of spent workers, wings ragged, returning wearily to the hive. Worker bees are aptly named as they literally work themselves to death. Death occurs following approximately five hundred miles of flight. It takes twelve worker bees their whole lifetime to create one teaspoon of honey. They work flat out for the queen.
Unlike much of what mankind does in this world, the beekeeper works in alignment with the natural world God created and pronounced ‘good’. That means each beekeeper accepting the lives and deaths of tens of thousands of their bees each year. He or she doesn’t fight a battle they can’t win. Like their bees, they focus on the job of the moment and do the very best they can, for as long as they can.
Bees are totally focussed on the job in hand. The role allocated to them. To fight it is to go against the very best the Creator has ordained for them. If they were to try and take on another role then the hive would suffer, and so would they. There’s a divine order in nature and in our lives too.
There are three lessons I’ve learnt from observing the bees that I touched on earlier. Firstly, do what God has called me to do. If you wonder what that is, then ask Him. A strong clue will be it is what gives you a sense of completeness and pleasure, even if it’s not easy. Secondly, do it to the very best of your ability. Don’t worry about tomorrow, as you can’t change it, but worrying about it can damage your peace today. Thirdly, don’t focus on yourself, but on the benefit of others. In helping them we’ve served the Lord (our King) - see Matthew 25:31-40.
Bees never stop working. They never worry about how they’re feeling, how old or young they are. They never consider if they’re making a difference, because they know they are; and so should we. Instead of worrying whether we are making a difference, let’s just get on and do it, one visit, one conversation, one letter (or email or text), and one prayer at a time. In heaven you’ll be amazed how that will have mounted up.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to not worry about today or tomorrow or how effective I’m being in Your kingdom. Let me just get on and do the best I can, and be the best I can for You. Amen.
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