We’ve heard it said, we’ve said it thus,
That “busy is as busy does.”
But is this busy best for us?
Pray let us think and not to rush.
Who says that we must busy stay?
Who says that we must fill the day
With rushing here and there this way
Until our lives are worn, and fray?
Who made the rule to busy go?
Who said that all must this way know?
Will we have lives that better grow
When we have made the busy show?
We’ve heard it, yes, and said it thus,
But it’s not true that we all must,
For greater than the busy rush
Is steady, growing, patient trust.
I can’t believe I wrote this twenty-five years ago. My determination as a result of this realization was that I would not “so busy be.” Now, there’s another line. Who has not heard, “busy as a bee?” In truth, the bee’s busy results in more “fruit” of its labor than man’s. Man’s whole philosophy seems bound up in busy as its own end. Perhaps “let’s get busy, the boss is coming” is a part of that, too.
Anyway, I thought I would improve my own approach, and yet here I am in “retirement” and though my work is differently arranged, a busy schedule of “things” to do seems to fill my mind and day. I am learning bit by bit to downsize that philosophy. I only wish I had applied it more when I should have, that the whole area of stress might have been averted, and perhaps my physical ability to really “do the busy” when it was needed would not have been as limited as it seems to be at times.
Now, take the bee, for instance. As we consider this tiny little “bugger” there is something we notice at the outset. He is very much into what is good for his community, the hive. He is not selfish, but his whole being is given to filling his gifted role, doing what he was created to do with all of his heart. He also takes instruction very well from the “top dog” er, “queen bee.” After all, his life is what it is by her action and that of her attendants. So he recognizes who is in charge and why. He also works well with others. There is a unity of responsibility that ties him to his partners, and together, they’ve really got a “sweet” deal going. Pardon the pun.
Now, he does have the ability to put the sting on anyone or anything that threatens him, but he avoids this if he can, for once he resorts to violence, he will permanently affect his ability to continue to be the busy bee that he was. He will die very soon, for his stinger, equipped with barbs that stay in his target, will damage his body on removal.
Another interesting tidbit is the system of communications that goes on in the colony. When a “bee scout” comes back with news of a new food source, he does this special “buzz dance” to tell the hive exactly where. A slow dance means its further away, and a fast dance means its nearby. The angle of dance and its height or depth in the hive pinpoints the place precisely. And get this, it’s all done in reference to the sun’s light and angle. Get your pencil out, surveyor, these guys know their stuff!
Now, where was I? Oh, yes, “busy’s not as busy does.” Actually, I have a point to all the “bee” stuff. First, it occurs to me that they give us some vital directions for the busy life. Live for others, not self. Be busy about what you are made for and you will fulfil your purpose. Give yourself to the One who made you. Work well with others to produce the sweetest deal for all. Take your commission seriously, and taking “direction from the Son” lead others to the real Source of life. Oh, and avoid the kinds of behavior, that having “stung” someone, will result in your own effectiveness being forever changed.
‘nuff said? Well, let me leave you with a few more “drops of honey” from the Wise man of Ecclesiastes, chapter 7, verses 1-10. Call it wisdom for the busy.
1. “A good name is better than a good ointment.” (vs. 1)
2. “The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” (vs. 1)
3. “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting.” (vs. 2) (Read more to think on this.)
4. “Sorrow is better than laughter.” (vs. 3) (Read on.)
5. “It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man than for one to listen to the song of fools.” (vs. 5)
6. “The end of a matter is better than its beginning.” (vs. 8)
7. “Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” (vs. 8)
Dear friends, Solomon, for all his later faults, was given a special gift of wisdom by God. Some daily attention to his words in this book and in Proverbs would make our busy better done.