When I was a child, I was deeply petrified of bees. To be honest, I still get a little uneasy whenever those flying monsters buzz around my head. In the last couple of years, however, I have come to appreciate bees more than ever before. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that many of the problems that occur among evangelical Christians today could be solved by bees. Let me explain…
Did you know that one-third of the human diet comes from insect pollinated plants? Astoundingly, the honey bee is responsible for eighty percent of those plants. Scientists have estimated that the human food supply would collapse without the aid of bees as they add about $15 billion a year to our food supply. They are a ‘flying’ example of productivity:)
It seems that everywhere honey bees go, they bring life. They are master pollinators. There is a secret to the honey bees’ productivity, however. There is a very specific reason that they are such good pollinators. I am convinced that if the church could learn the ‘secret’ of the honey bee, all of our real problems would be solved. Like the honey bee, we may even become more ‘productive’. Well, I have good news! In today’s blog post, I’d like to share the $15 billion ‘secret’ of the honey bee.
The $15 billion secret
Bees don’t care about pollination, rather, they are simply after nectar!
There you have it. That is the $15 billion secret. Bees have a ‘one track’ mind. They have a love affair with nectar. It tastes really good to them. They are addicts. They will stop at nothing to get this nectar. Nectar is their food. This ‘nectar’ food is also used by the honey bee to produce more food (honey). The process by which the bees use nectar to produce honey is also fascinating, but that is another article for another day. Simply put, the bees just want nectar.
The bees have been designed to instinctively know where to find the nectar. Although nectar is not visible externally, the honey bee knows the plants and flowers that internally contain the nectar they need to feast upon. Therein lies their mission. They are sent out to find and extract their ‘nectar’ food from the various plants and flowers that are rich with this internal food. As they go about their mission of discovery and eating, $15 billion worth of pollination happens as a by-product!
The distraction of seeking to ‘pollinate’
Can you imagine what would happen if the bees stopped seeking ‘nectar’ and instead held conferences and wrote books about “How To Start Mass Pollination Movements” or “Why We Need To Be Obedient To The Great Pollination Commission”? It would be a disaster. Bees would begin to disappear because their ultimate mission of living by nectar and producing greater food with that nectar would be replaced with the byproduct of pollination. As great as pollination is, it is not the goal of the honey bee. The goal of the honey bee is nectar which leads to honey.
In the same way as the honey bee seeks to live by nectar, we have been designed to live by ‘nectar’ as well. Our nectar is the life of the person of Jesus Christ. In the same way that nectar is found inside plants and flowers, our living ‘nectar’ is found in ourselves and in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Col. 1:27). We can also behold portraits (pictures) of this nectar (Christ) in nature, art, music, etc… It is our ‘mission’ to find this nectar, extract this nectar, and to live by this nectar.
The unfortunate reality of much of the religious system, however, is this…we have been distracted with seeking byproducts like ‘pollination’ instead of seeking ‘nectar’. In the life of the honey bee, pollination naturally happens because of the pursuit of nectar. It is important to note that the honey bee does not pursue ‘pollination’ in its attempt to find the nectar. That’s what much of evangelicalism has done, and as a result, we have forgotten how to find ‘nectar’. A great example of this can be seen in a participatory blog post that I wrote last week.
The participatory blog that I wrote last week just might be one of my favorite yet. This blog was simply an invitation to express love to the person of Jesus Christ through the dedication of a song. Brothers and sisters in Christ who were able to behold Christ through a variety of different songs began to post these songs to the blog. I was overwhelmed. What was noteworthy to me, however, was who was eerily silent from that participatory blog post.
I am aware of a number of institutional clergy that regularly read this blog. Some of them engage me in conversation and post comments about the things that I post here even though they do not always agree. Although last week’s participatory blog post was simply an expression of love to Christ, not one clergy member chose to participate that I am aware of. Could it be because we were not talking about ‘pollination’ or strategies of method & church structure? Their silence spoke volumes to me.
(If you have not yet gotten the chance to read and listen to the songs posted to that blog post, let me strongly encourage you to do so. You will be immensely blessed by clicking here)
As we focus on the nectar of life, we’ll find that ‘pollination’ will occur in ways that we could never ask, think, or imagine.
For the Nectar of Life,
For Further Reading, Please Read: Missional Confusion & The Amway Gospel…an assessment of a movement