Scripture: Paul wrote, “We have different
gifts, according to the grace given us.“ Romans 12:6 NIV
honeybee. Thousands of identical bees in a colony. Do all gather nectar from
the flowers in the field? No. At any given time, the bees take different tasks.
While many do indeed flit from flower to flower, and return by a ‘bee line
flight’ to the hive, they will be met at the entrance by guard bees. These
bees are the front lines of defense for the hive, ready to intercept the
intruder. Inside the nest, they will find nurse bees, feeding and looking
after the developing bees-to-be. As they go to the comb to deposit their load
of nectar, they will pass clusters of young bees processing honey into beeswax,
and building new comb. Some bees will come over and help pack the load of
pollen brought in by the field bees into cells in the comb. Pollen is their
main source of protein; without pollen, bees in the larval (baby bee) stage
would soon die.
Part of the work force makes certain that the hive
is spotless. Their motto: “If you can move it, out it goes! Can’t move it?
Bury it under bee glue (propolis.) They seal up any holes or cracks
other than the main entrance as well.
Still others become part of the hive air conditioning
system, fanning their wings to ventilate the hive, and evaporating the moisture
from the nectar so it will become honey. On really hot summer days, bees
will go out and gather water to help cool the hive.
And what about the queen bee? Does she lolly
around, and say, “You! Over there. See that speck of dirt? Out with it!”?
No way! The queen is not the boss. She eats, and lays eggs, eats and lays
eggs. All day, all summer. And she is the only one in the hive who
can do that. A true individual.
An equitable division of labor. If it needs to be done,
they just “Do it!”
I have never seen bees argue over who is to do what.
While we wouldn’t want to live a bee’s life, there
are some lessons worth learning there. After all, God did a pretty good
job with them, don’t you think?
Both Jesus and Paul pointed out that we are to each
fill our individual role in the church or community. We are to be a complement
to the whole. Writing to the Romans, Paul urged them to bring to the church
the gift that God, through grace, has given each person. Do not envy
other’s gifts; do not “think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the
measure of faith God has given you.” (12:3).
January 6, 2002
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