I am in the process of going on a new adventure—beekeeping. Yes, that’s right, beekeeping. My goal is to have one or two hives of bees in my backyard. In preparation, I have identified the location in my yard, I have secured most of the pieces of the hive box and hopefully in a couple of weeks I will get my first “nuc”, which consists of a queen and several thousand bees. I have attended a couple beekeeping meetings and purchased a book that details beekeeping. Beekeeping in the backyard improves pollination and hopefully will reward me with a harvest of delicious honey.
Beehives consist of a queen, drones and worker bees. Each of them is very unique in what they do, but in my attempt to learn about beekeeping, I learned something so interesting about the bees–they know how to communicate. One of the ways that they communicate is through choreography. That’s right, they dance! The foraging worker bees dance when they return to the hive with news of nectar, pollen, or water. The worker bees dance on the comb using precise patterns. Depending on the style of dance, a variety of information is shared with the other honey bees. By this dance, they are able to obtain accurate information about the location and the type of food that has been located.
They will do a round dance or a waggle dance. The round dance communicates that the food source is within 10-80 yards of the hive. If the food source is a greater distance, the worker performs a waggle dance. This dance involves shivering side-to-side, while forming a figure eight. The vigor of the waggle, the number of times it is repeated, the direction of the dance and the sound the bee makes communicates precise information about the location of the food source. The bees even offer the recruits a taste of the goodies that they have brought back to the hive.
We who have been to Jesus, have experienced His grace, tasted of His goodness, received His mercy, and experienced His love—let us take note from the bees. We must go to those around us, communicate to them that we have found the Source of life—Jesus. We need to share Him and point others to Him so that they may experience a life filled with the sweet nectar of God’s love and grace.
Would you consider yourself to be a friend? Do you have people in your life that you would call your friend? You may be wondering what it means to be a friend. A friend is a person with whom you can be yourself. That’s right, you can be yourself. A friend doesn’t expect you to be better or worse and when you are with a friend, you don’t have to put up your guard. A friend is a person who understands you and allows you to laugh with them, cry with them, sing with them and they are willing to tolerate you through all of your downfalls. I guess you could sum up a friend as one who sees who you really are and they still love you. Henry Durbanville said that a friend is the “first person who comes in when the whole world goes out”.
The following questions were posed to a group of people in an attempt to help them identify true friends. Who are the five wealthiest people in the world? Who won the last five Heisman trophies? Who are ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize? Who won the last ten World Series? After thinking about the above questions and realizing they didn’t know the answers, the following questions were asked to the group. Who is the teacher who aided you during your school journey? Who are three people who have come to your side during difficult times? Who are five people who have taught you something worthwhile? Who are five people who make you feel special? Who are the people you enjoy spending time with? The people who are making the difference in your life are those who care about you. In other words, you are important to them. Likewise, the people that you care for are the people with whom you are making a difference.
To enhance your friendship with others, you should be committed to the friendship. You should always express your appreciation to your friends by your words and actions. People need to feel appreciated. You should keep your conversations positive even when you have to speak words that may seem hard. Also, value the time that you spend together. Your time may not be just about your needs. Your time spent with others should make an everlasting difference in their lives. You should also be sure to encourage your friends on their spiritual journey. Spend time praying with them and for them, spend time sharing with them and worshipping with them. These are a just few simple guidelines that will help us be a true friend.
“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
I recently read that the litmus test of our love for God is our love for others. We all have other people in our lives. We have relationships that are very dear to us and we also have relationships that are simply acquaintances. I like to describe our relationships in the following manner…My office is about a block from the interstate. The interstate has vehicles going north and south all hours of the day. Those vehicles are driven by people. For the most part, people I don’t know. Next, I live on a road that is travelled by people every day. I might recognize someone, give them a wave, but I really don’t know them. Then, there are those people who actually stop at my house, but never get out of their car… the person who delivers my mail and the person who deliver my paper. Seldom, I will have a person get out of their vehicle to deliver a package, place it on our front porch, and then leave. I will also have guests at times who will come in our front door, sit in our living room and fellowship with our family and we may even share a meal together.
When I consider the number of people travelling on the interstate compared to the number of people who actually walk into my house, the number is very different. However, every person is important. Every person has a purpose and we are commanded to love them. While we may not be able to impact those people on the interstate, those who travel the streets of our neighborhood, we should take every opportunity to positively impact every person that we can.
We are told in Matthew 7:12 to “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”. You may be wondering how I can do such a thing. Here are a few suggestions: Take time to speak to others, always wear a smile (remember that it takes seventy two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile), call others by their name, be friendly and helpful, be genuinely interested in others, be considerate with the feeling of others and always be ready to invest in them, to serve them.
You may be surprised to find that part of your happiness may come from making others feel special.
So, go out of your way, take a detour today to make someone feel special.