Thursday, February 2, 2017

Busy Bees and a Mission and Purpose

Image result for bees buzzing in a corn field

Walking through the 7 foot tall rows of sweet corn,  checking the ears for insects, corn worms and to see how close to harvest they were,  I loved the buzzing of the honeybees even though it was so loud it blocked out all other sounds.  Thousands of bees buzzing around my head,  darting here and there, skillfully pollinating,  painted a beautiful lively picture that  was  a joy  to witness.   They were such “Busy Bees”,  fulfilling their work,  that they didn't seem to notice me. They weren't distracted at all by this “intruder” in their midst.  

Recently, the remembrance of that “bee” experience of several years ago suddenly came to my thought as I realized how I had mesmerized by the political maelstrom  that had encompassed the country and distracted me from my “mission”.      I had fallen for the “bait” to engage… spouting  strong feelings, participating in sometimes hateful rhetoric,  self righteous  opinions, bitterness... being drawn away from what I had considered my life purpose.  

I was disappointed in myself but seemed drawn to get involved.   Remembering the bees hit me like a ton of bricks and it awakened me to what commitment to a mission means.  

As I pondered, feeling ashamed of myself for being pulled down once again, a story from the Bible came to thought.  Lessons from the Bible , though maybe thousands of years old, continue to provide a rich treasure of life lessons when we can see them as applied to our daily experience.

How easily I had been diverted from my ‘mission” , my strong desire  to follow the appeal of Micah  the Morasthite  contained in the Bible when he said of God: … “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”  No mention of being distracted, veering from the path, lowering our standard to the level of hateful conduct, criticism or losing touch with spirituality. 

Image result for bees in school
Bee-ing a Good Student
Then just a few days after thinking about the faithfulness of the bees to their mission, while reading from the book of Nehemiah in the Holy Bible, the realization came that this old “distraction” trick is not new.  The pull to separate us from Love, goodness, kindness and right thinking is as old as time itself.  I wondered if the bees had read that story in school and learned from it!!!!    

Nehemiah was a high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I.   After hearing about the sad state of affairs in Judah, the home of his ancestors, Nehemiah acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild that city and its fortifications which had been destroyed by enemies.    That became his mission and purpose.

Nehemiah the Builder
There were many distractions, primarily from   Sanballat and Tobiah,   Regional Governors who resented his involvement and were trying to tempt him to come down from the work, to distract him and draw him away from the work he was doing.   This seemed to me like a parallel to the temptation I had experienced to engage in “conflict” over our own political process.

But Nehemiah stuck by his guns (well… a figure of speech actually as there were no guns in those days!!).  He stayed on the wall and , like the Busy Bees,  told the detractors  that he had a work to do and he was not going to be distracted. 

Seeing how easily we can be pulled away from our work, drawn into endless conflict,  it became important to me to “define” my mission and purpose.    A clue came from the master Christian, Jesus of Nazareth when he said:  

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, 
Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
 Luke 4:17-19

Religious leader Mary Baker Eddy, whose Bible companion book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is studied worldwide, offers this counsel as an alert to stay focused on spirituality:      “Being in sympathy with matter, the worldly man is at the beck and call of error, and will be attracted thitherward."     SH 21:25

    “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmoniousas Life eternally iscan destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not.”   SH 495:14

 When we keep our mission and purpose foremost in thought, we can silence the distraction with that buzzing activity we witness in the Bee World.     Thanks Bees and Nehemiah for being good role models. 

Image result for bee on corn


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts and well-said!! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Congrats on the growth. Love you! mel

Carolyn Peters said...

very timely! I needed to hear this, being much too distracted by all the political craziness!! Thank you, Wonderful Brother!!

Helen Lee-Bryant said...

Lovely post dear Patrick! Thank you for your help bringing our though higher (which we very much need these days) :)

Stephanie Thomas said...

Thank you so much! I, too, needed to hear this message. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Well Gip you get a case of Nehi for writing this out as we are all with you in the boat..sinking at times and then finding the plug to fix the hole and keep it aloft. Love your writing and your guiding us all into the airport runway with reminding us of our temptations to fall off the wagon of Truth and Love and join in the hypnotic dance. You are wonderful in every way all the time, not just some of the time. Holding that Truth I salute you and your NEHI is on the way...what do I get for agreeing with you one hundred percent. for my own self as well. I about one of those Nehi pops as well. See you in the hanger. Over and out Merri

Patrick Collins said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. The struggle continues for many of us but keeping the Bees in mind, admiring their focus and their commitment to the task at hand, we can all benefit and live a life of sweetness and honey!! I appreciate you more than you could ever know for reading my little articles.

kelkmac said...

Great story, thank you. And YES, YES !! Our world so needs us to "cling steadfastly to God and His idea" and to "allow nothing but His likeness to abide in [our] thought.." Love your comment about commitment to a mission. It made me think about our life's "Mission Statement"... as any business person knows, a business succeeds only to the extent the owners and employees commit to their mission statement. Love that thought. Thanks so much for sharing this!!