Friday, December 7, 2018

You buzzed?

The other morning, I happened upon a quote that caught my eye, not so much because it was majorly profound, but because it was just a little insightful. Kin Hubbard wrote, "A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower." While that may not be labeled 'profound', it is quite revealing of how some of us go through life - buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, all the while appearing very busy, but really doing not much more than buzzing! We have those huge carpenter bees here in Arizona - some black and others kind of orange and black colors. They can come out of nowhere, then 'buzz' all around you incessantly until you wonder if they are eyeing you as a huge piece of wood they could burrow into! All the while, they are menacing, but not very productive in what they are doing!

Light, space, zest—that’s God! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. (Psalm 17:1-5 MSG)

Some of us would do well to recognized we are being besieged by all the hubbub around us, causing us to 'buzz' all the more, but really accomplishing very little with all that buzzing! Hell can rage around us, all the world can be in a 'buzz', but we don't have to be. It is possible for us to live at peace, to be calm in the midst of chaos, and to not just 'buzz' incessantly. Hubbard was also one to remind his readers that some people can look so busy that they actually appear to be indispensable. The truth of the matter is that appearances are one thing - the reality may be something quite different. When my grandsons were young and they first saw those big bees buzzing in my yard, they were noticeably frightened by both their size and their 'buzz'. When I explained they don't sting and they only like wood, they began to tolerate the 'intrusion', but were less concerned by it as time passed.

Sometimes we focus on the intrusions in life rather than on the stuff that really demands our attentiveness and determination. We listen to the buzzing instead of understanding the buzz is nothing more than a byproduct of activity. Not all activity is productive - nor is it necessary - sometimes it is just destructive. The carpenter bees knew where the wood pile was - they didn't have to look elsewhere. They left tell-tale signs to assure me they had plenty to gnaw upon - plenty to occupy their attention! So, why all the buzzing around? Did you know carpenter bees don't actually eat wood? They just destroy it! They burrow so as to have a place to reproduce - not because they are making a home for their colony. They are very isolated - not social at all. The 'buzz' we most often hear evokes a sense of fear in us, but it is usually from the male of the species - the ones that don't sting. The female is capable of stinging, but rarely does because the buzzing of the male makes people fearful of them.

Don't you think for a minute that buzzing is not distracting! The whole purpose of that male carpenter bee buzzing around our heads incessantly is to distract us from the 'gallery' or hole where the female is creating new life. More of that 'new life' that will do little more than create more damage and inflict countless hours of work and fear upon those unfortunate enough to be in their path of buzzing! While carpenter bees are not a really deep spiritual lesson, there are some lessons to take away today. First, not all buzzing deserves our attention. It is often the silence we should concern ourselves with more than the buzzing! Second, buzzing evokes fear in us - it is like chaos turns up the heat in our lives and we begin to buzz a little bit ourselves. As with my grandsons, we want to turn tail and run when we are 'buzzed upon' by those things that do little more than create menacing distractions in our lives. Remember this - many things may menace us, but only one thing calms us - God's presence! Just sayin!