Learning from the bees

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

If we were able to ask bees why they do what they do, the answer might be deceptively simple. They buzz from blossom to blossom and eat the nice food within. Satisfied, they fly home, and if they're honeybees, they take nectar with them for storage in the hive.

Most likely they are unaware of what happens to the pollen dispersed as they enter each flower, and of the millions of people who depend on them for much of the food they eat. The bees simply do their thing and buzz on. But whether they are aware of it or not, they belong to a worldwide natural system in which many elements and conditions, having little or no knowledge of one another's identity or motivation, must cooperate in order to fulfill a good purpose.

Systems like the bees' can be called natural because they are beyond the capacity of human beings to create or replicate and are governed by a shared intelligence we can't physically detect. We play a role in the system as we collect its products, but to us they exist primarily as a resource of good over which we have been given stewardship.

When something bad happens, such as the colony collapse disorder that has killed so many honeybees, it seems humanly logical to identify and examine each element and relationship in the system: the bees, beekeepers, hives, chemicals, interactive life forms, and so on, to search for physical clues about what is causing the disorder. Much earnest labor goes into such analyses, yet the results are often disappointing.

But there is another way to uncover and correct what is wrong in a system, and that is through prayer. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

All things working together for good is the definition of any successful system, physical or spiritual. From God's viewpoint, all things do work together for good, as described in the first chapter of Genesis. Being called according to His purpose is a demand to recognize the spiritual perfection of what God created and our own spiritual nature. Responding to the call is to manifest the Christ spirit, that is, to know the spiritual truth that frees us from any belief about creation that would argue against God's complete and loving control.

Acknowledging the omnipotence of God's goodness as fully able to govern creation harmoniously can destroy any error that appears to be present or reveal what needs to be done to restore the system's integrity. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, wrote: "God creates and governs the universe, including man. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which He evolves, and they are obedient to the Mind that makes them" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 295).

As Jesus showed through the universality of his healing work, everyone – meaning all of us – has full access to this spiritual and worldwide system of healing. We don't have to know every element within it or the details of whatever seems to threaten our well-being. We simply need to respond to the intuitive urge – God's call – to close the door on ungodlike thoughts and partake of the spiritual inspiration and joy supplied to us as we glorify God's allness.

Whether the problem is an earthquake, a famine, or the collapse of a bee colony, we're not helpless. Our knowledge that each of us is spiritual and inseparable from God is sustaining and inspiring. This knowledge is spiritual food that enables us to spread the spirit of Christ healing where it is needed, as bees scatter pollen. We don't need to know on what or whom it rests, or what effect it will have. But we can be confident that it will lead to healing and provide a higher sense of God's inexhaustible goodness right at hand.

The Lord thy God in the midst
of thee is mighty; he will save,
he will rejoice over thee with joy;
he will rest in his love,
he will joy over thee with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

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