I always have to keep my eye out for bumblebees when I pick flowers in the garden. Sometimes a hard-working little fella doesn’t make it home before bedtime, and he sets up camp on the colorful cushion of a zinnia for the night. He’s not always real happy about me shaking up his campsite.
The honeybees are a little more easy-going. They’re so busy working, they don’t have much time to worry about me. They love the mint that is flowering next to one of the chairs on our deck, so I’ve had a front row seat to watch their late-summer labors. The basil down in the garden is another of their favorite hangouts. The row usually buzzes with the sounds of their diligent work.
I had to smile (and be careful) one morning out on the deck. I had picked a box full of basil. Some of it had already started to flower, and the bees were objecting to me disturbing their work. I took the box up to the deck and sat down to listen to a sermon online while I stripped the leaves off their stems. Leaves were going into a bowl for pesto, and stems went into a grocery bag.
I caught myself, though, as I started to drop some more stems into the bag. Down in the shadows of the bag, happily doing what God has made him to do, was an industrious little bee, going from flower to flower, deeper and deeper into the bag, sipping that sweet nectar one last time before the remnants got tossed into the compost pile.
That faithful little bee was an inspiration. He wasn’t questioning God. He wasn’t complaining. He wasn’t waiting for someone else to do the job. He didn’t appear to be thinking it was unfair that some of his fellow bees were back at the hive while he had to fly around all day gathering nectar. He wasn’t giving up when the job got hard. He was going above and beyond the call of duty as he followed those basil blossoms into that bag.
He was just doing the job God has given him, and he was glorifying God and blessing others — especially me — while he was doing it.
Lord, help me to be like that little bee.