From Pollen to Honey: Are You Living What You Were Created For

I sat on the porch soaking in the morning sun, cradling a cup of coffee like a precious gem, and taking in the beauty of a quaint retreat home in Irpen, Ukraine during our Staff/Student Leadership Conference this past week. My spirit breathed a sigh and my lungs were overjoyed to take in fresh air.

It’s been a struggle lately and even as I sat enjoying the moment part of me was still restless. That’s when I noticed it.

Bee covered in pollen
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Next to me a bright pollen covered honey bee landed on the dark brown doormat. My first thought was, “With all that pollen no wonder I’ve been sneezing non-stop here!” My second thought was, “Why in the world don’t I have a camera with me?!” However as I watched I was struck by another thought that a bit more inspiring, to say the least.

The bee began to rub its legs together trying to rid itself of its bright, sticky garment. It fidgeted and fretted for many minutes and to my eye the poor thing didn’t seem to be making very much progress. After so much hard work the honey bee was still covered in pollen. I don’t know if it was frustrated, but I was certainly feeling sympathy for it.

Then I noticed a small, growing pile of fluffy yellowness gathering on the doormat. Though barely noticeable looking at the bee, it was managing to remove pollen from its hairy body. So much hard work, such a great amount of time (at least it seemed so to me), but it was accomplishing what it was created to accomplish.

And therein lies the revelation that pierced my heart. To me the bee looked horribly uncomfortable and like it wasn’t really succeeding at very much, but the bee was doing what it was created to do. As a bee it is meant to gather pollen and redistribute it, as a lover of both flowers and honey I am rather thankful for the work of bees. Watching it up close, however, it seemed tedious, time consuming and, frankly, not very fun.

Culturally I am undeniably American in many ways. One of those is that I want results… and NOW! I want to see progress. I want to know that all the work is actually accomplishing something. However, I think sometimes I get distracted by the work still left to do and I miss the work that has already been done. As an impatient person, I get all kinds of distracted in the middle of the humdrum details of life. I have my eye on honey and I am still working with pollen.

How about you? Do you feel like you are doing what you were created to do? Or do you feel that you are doing a lot of work and going nowhere? Are you impatient with the process or content that even if it seems small it is necessary and making a difference?

Sometimes we need to step back from the tedious process and recognize all that God has done and is doing. Let’s take time to thank Him today for the beauty that surrounds us, for the sticky situations we find ourselves in, and for the sweet  things to come.