Bees and Butterflies

I wonder if God prefers the bee over the butterfly merely because he produces honey.  The bee works with purpose, collecting, cooling and serving the hive. The butterfly on the other hand, is a solitary creature working only on individual transformation by eating incessantly and eventually adds simple beauty to the world. I cannot imagine a bee quietly hovering on the wind nor can I imagine a butterfly flapping madly to cool a hive and perhaps that is by design. I learn so much about God by simply looking at the natural world around me. Yes, even in the city I find myself temporarily distracted by a bee buzzing around my head and swat at it wildly, later to calmly revel in the sweetness of his honey, while sitting for a moment at Starbucks. Conversely, I momentarily pause and smile as a butterfly quietly soars onto a small piece of grass and the inspiration to continue my day bubbles. I suggest that each is equally valuable in the grand scheme and each is fulfilling its purpose exactly as they were designed to do.

My son is working on his auto technician degree at the community college and he tells me that one mechanic nightmare is when there is a fluke in a system but the component is basically working as designed.  Such is the case with the security module in my car, which randomly goes off, as I open the door to my car. The security module was designed to perform a task and it is doing that task.  Each component is designed with a larger picture in mind.  The security system is designed to work in sync with the electrical system and the mechanics of opening and closing the door but its very existence was created to ease the fears of the consumer. Without recognizing the squeal and it’s design to alert a by standers of a robbery in process, the sound would make no sense at all. You need to see the bigger picture to figure out why the door screams at all. Why the module was created and for what purpose it was designed?  The component will do what it was designed to do within the system. The security system will go off and try to alert the bystanders of an impending robbery. The problem comes not in the noise itself for it is just doing what it was designed to do…squeal when the door is open and the security system is engaged. The problem rests in the component being out of sync with the whole system. This mechanical example helps me better understand the way a small component works with a whole system or a couple of systems.

I often find myself operating as designed but out of sync. I use to think there was something wrong with me. I would ask myself how I could be better at my job. What did I need to do to fit in? The beauty of getting a little older is that I had time to pause, turn around and figure out that I keep doing the same things over and over again. I am not talking about the destructive behaviors that need to be changed for health reasons mental or physical, but those little annoying things for which I feel under appreciated. Those little behaviors that make me stand out in my community of friends, like do I tend to talk too much, or to stretch the truth or wander off topic. The real question is how I fit into the bigger picture. What was I designed to do and what is my designed purpose? Only the master designer of the system knows for sure. For I propose that each of us is operating as designed. I marvel at the grace both the bee and the butterfly use as they circle a flower, but I cannot tell the bee or the butterfly what to do with the flower pollen. Each must discover his own purpose for himself by tuning into the master design recognizing individual differences not as faults but as creations. We each are operating as designed.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. JG says:

    Love the allegory.

  2. Karen says:

    Nice comparison. Reminds me that “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your heart.” It may be sweet, sting, or just be beautiful.

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