My son Cannon is terrified of bees.
The instant he hears the buzzing noise of an incoming insect, he runs for cover. While humorous at times, it's also frustrating from the perspective as a father when you see your son driven by fear of the unknown rather than the certainty of what is. No amount of rational, logical thinking can help Cannon process the reality that he is larger than a bee and the bee might just be more afraid of him than he is of it.
I was thinking more about bees during one family walk and yet another instant where I witnessed Cannon jumping out-of-the-way of another insect for fear it might harm him. What do bees and Christians have in common? Here are a couple of thoughts that came to mind.
1. We travel in packs. Bees live in colonies: extended family communal type settings. There are times when different bees are sent out of the hive to scout out new territory, but for the most part, bees prefer to stick together with their own kind.
This is somewhat of a sad realization of most Christians. We love to associate with those who are like us. While this mentality isn't altogether bad, it definitely limits our ability to grow and develop or even influence the world around us. The challenge we face is allowing ourselves to be culture-shapers instead of consumers or bystanders. We take a risk when we put ourselves out there to interact with those who may not share our thoughts and views on life, that's true, but we miss out on the beauty that is to be found in every human being when we only choose to associate with those who are exactly like us.
2. We protect the hive. There is an instinctive nature to bees. The hive is their home; their place of safety; their place of identity. They will offer their lives in service to their queen in order to protect their hive.
The challenge we Christians face is not allowing our denominations, buildings or programs become our hives. If you've ever studied the history of Christianity, you will know that many lives have been lost due to a difference in theology, doctrine and even methodology. Each of us falls victim to the same basic human tendency to immerse our identity in what we do instead of who we are (our doing vs. our being). In our attempt to protect the hive, we unintentionally give our lives for something that may not actually mean what we believe it does. Perhaps we need to re-cultivate the habit and posture of humility instead of pride when it pertains to matters of the hive.
What are other similarities that may exist between bees and Christians?