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Be Like the Bees

I sipped my coffee and savored the solitude of my backyard. I sat listening as the early birds chirped and warbled. Their chorus signaling the dawn of a new day. God’s mercies renewed. I rested in my lawn chair, flanked by privets that needed pruning threes seasons ago, soaking in creation’s song of praise. Humbled by all the surrounding glory, I whispered a heartfelt prayer.

My offering of thanks was fresh on my lips, when I heard buzzing coming from the bushes. Then, I spotted several bees and sensed God sharing a truth through these little insects. Like Edward Taylor, that Puritan poet, I looked for the deeper meaning in these winged object lessons. The bees’ feverish labor caused the tiny white blossoms to plummet like staccato raindrops. I considered how they never grow weary of their God-given vocation of pollination. Scientists say one of three bites of food comes from the honeybees’ pollinating prowess. In short, without these insects, the vine would bring no fruit and our grocery store shelves would be barren. But who takes notice of them? Hardly anyone. But bees, like the ones in my backyard, bring glory to God by their small actions done in obscurity.

Be like the bee.

These words surfaced in my mind as I watched them buzz along. Immediately, I understood God was speaking to my writing ministry. As Christian writers, we can learn a lesson from them. They never stop their work to consider its significance. They simply float from flower to flower in faithful submission to God’s commandment. Bees are content with the process of pollination. It’s what they do. If we are not careful, we can view the tasks of the writing life as trivial obstacles to be overcome, instead of moments to be embraced. Every sentence has the potential to bear fruit in you or in your reader. Every sentence written, when crafted with contentment in faithful obedience, becomes an act of worship.

If we merely aim to make a name for ourselves, we miss the importance of being a small part of God’s grand plan. It’s easy to view our work as amateurish. However, a study of the origins of the word amateur is encouraging. The word amateur comes from the Latin word amare, which means “to love.” In the original context, the word we know as meaning “a novice” meant someone who performed a task for the love of it, not for money, fame, or recognition. Writing in obscurity is easier to swallow when we fall in love with the process.

Like the bees pollinating the world, instead of flower by flower, we can work word by word, sentence by sentence, for the love of the craft and for glorifying God with our labor. More than likely, we will not understand or witness the full impact of our words on others. How could we measure the reach of our stories, articles, or essays on this side of eternity? We cannot. It’s not for us to know. We must trust God to sew our small offerings into His overall tapestry of glory. When we consider our labor, let us take a lesson from the honeybees.

And be like the bee, happy, content, and faithful to the work, even when no one notices. God notices. Who else can know the fruits of our labor?

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K.W. Bounds
K.W. Bounds

Kevin W. Bounds graduated summa cum laude from Lee University. A pastor and writer, he lives in South Georgia with his wife and two children.

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