Extra lesson

A while ago, Matthijs and I treated ourselves to a trip to our favorite store: the garden center. This time we took an insect hotel with us, among other things. Fits perfectly in our nice, bee-friendly garden. After Matthijs had looked up all the ins & outs about an insect hotel, the ideal place to hang out and the residents (typical male thing I believe, figuring that out ), we hung up the hotel. Usually residents wait a year or more, but after a month or two we suddenly saw plenty of activity. A kind of Schiphol of bees coming and going.

Bees and inner chambers
Gradually, one tube after another was bricked up, which aroused our curiosity. Using the ‘recognize the creature in my photo app’ we discovered that the red mason bee had taken up residence in our hotel. A very special animal I can tell you! It turns out that this hard worker spends a day working on such a wall. Not for fun, we read upon further investigation, but to protect the next generation. Behind the wall is an egg with some food. And so they make a whole tube full of about 5-10 rooms.
Meanwhile, all kinds of things are happening in those inner rooms. After two days the larva hatches from the egg, eats the food that has already been prepared, and pupates after five weeks to become a real bee. That takes about a year. Then the bees eat their way out, fly out, mate and then the cycle starts again.

We have been looking at it regularly over the past few weeks and somehow these thoughts about God and about life automatically bubble up. For example, growth starts in the inner room. And that growth takes time, which turns out not to be a bad thing at all. At least, bees don’t seem to be in a hurry, even though their lifespan is much shorter than mine. Three quarters of a bee’s life consists of growth in the inner chamber and ‘only’ a quarter of their life they are visible and productive. And that an interior room is built and shielded with care. A place without prying eyes and distractions. Apparently necessary to be able to fly later.

At and work
Insects, including bees, provide the necessary pollination of more than 75% of food crops. So they are of vital importance. That doesn’t make them rushed or stressed. It doesn’t make them feel like it all depends on them. They continue to work on quality with care and attention by simply doing what they are good at. And then there is growth and a new generation that can take over.

Extra lesson
If I’m honest, my role in God’s Kingdom often feels insignificant and small. Especially when I look at the bigger picture or at people who spend their entire lives building the Kingdom. My faith is often small, my life very ordinary. I was encouraged by the presence and observation of our hotel residents. They taught me, and perhaps you too, an important lesson: what you do matters. Do it with care and attention, without rushing. And feed the next generation from your living room.

At and free
Bee activity has now decreased somewhat around our insect hotel. The brickwork is finished. Actually the same as at Royal Mission. We were able to sow for a year. Hundreds of people enjoyed spiritual food. And now it’s time to take a step back. We, and hopefully you too, are going to take a break and enjoy everything God has given and will give. Many blessings and see you at the end of August!

About Annieke de Jager

Getrouwd met Matthijs, houdt van tuinieren, is gek op paarden en bij Royal Mission werkzaam als officemanager.

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