While recently visiting the Loire Valley in France, I was walking through the amazing gardens of a chateau. One section of the garden was nearly all lavender. The aroma was powerful, and calming, and a little sneeze-inducing. As I strolled along, bathing in the colors and scent, I heard a low murmur, or buzz. As I looked closer at the lavender bushes, I spied dozens of plump, fuzzy bees. They were flitting from blossom to blossom in the lavender. While they were moving quite quickly, and while they didn’t really seem to alight anywhere, I didn’t feel like they were frenzied or rushed. They were just methodically and efficiently going about their business of collecting pollen. Even when I moved in quite close to take some photos, they did not even seem to notice me, but carried on.
We know the bees are collecting the pollen to make their honey. They take the pollen back to the hive, and later on, a golden, delicious product results. Then the humans steal the honey, but that’s a different topic. What we also know is that while the bees are going about their own business, they are also cross-pollinating the plants and flowers. Smart gardeners (and the landscape crew of these impressive gardens were clearly very skilled and knowledgeable) intentionally plant a variety of flowers that attract bees and butterflies, and strategically locate them so cross-pollination is likely to happen. Of course, flowers have to be cross-pollinated to flourish.
I kind of doubt the bees are aware they are providing a valuable service in cross-pollinating the plants in the garden; they are likely just focused on doing their job or collecting pollen and making honey. Nonetheless, something beautiful happens as a side-effect. I wonder if, while I am diligently going about my business of being obedient to God and engaging in the work I have perceived He has set before me, if some beautiful or miraculous other things are happening as a result. Maybe I don’t even see it. Maybe I will never be aware of it. Perhaps someone will be touched or moved or inspired by something I say or do and go on to be changed or made better. God has the ability to take my steadfast faithfulness and turn it into something else beautiful that is apparently unrelated to the things I am doing. Maybe he uses other followers, like the butterflies, to do the same work, but in a different way.
The depth of the omniscience and manifestations of God’s plan for the world are far beyond our comprehension. However, if we only faithfully and diligently go about the tasks set before us, busy as bees, we may also contribute to the collateral blessings.