Monday, October 10, 2011

Drawing up the Nectar

Even now, when autumn has taken firm hold, butterflies frequent my backyard garden. They float delicately on the last of the season's warm breezes, flapping a little, but mostly gliding from one flower to the next, sipping on each one. They don't live long, but look beautiful for a while, lay eggs, then die.

I know people like them. They are beautiful and smile a lot. They move easy, and shift readily to find places where a benevolent sun shines. They wave lightly and settle in for as long as it lasts, until a challenging puff of wind unseats them and they look for another tranquil spot. Their fragile wings do not bear mistreatment.

A bee's lot is different. He is sturdy because he has work to do. He buzzes a warning, but stings interruption. An ungainly lump, he flies with purpose and stays at a flower only long enough to gather what he must transfer elsewhere. He builds for other purposes than his own.

It's a matter of motive, I think. Each creature, butterfly and bee, become what they must for their specific purpose. As in uninvolved onlooker, I prefer the beauty of the butterflies, but farmers don't agree. For farmers, bees pollinate crops and bring fruit forth from flowers. Butterflies produce nothing but more butterflies.

Of course, neither insect chooses their what purpose to serve, but we do. For men as for insects, actions follow purpose. What we do is a consequence of what we most value, what we build a result of what we believe.

Don't you know that when your offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?--Romans 6:16

I am going to follow something, to obey someone's call, and my actions will fall in line with that call. I will live, I will drink from the flower, and I can do it as a butterfly, that is to nourish only myself, or as bee, to build up for something more, for an almighty motive. In either case, I give my life, become a slave, to what I live for.

Thought for today: Whose purpose drives your actions?

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