Beyond The Box
I am a beekeeper. Working outside in my colonies with thousands of insects whizzing around me is a normal part of my life. Learning to observe deeply and be curious are two vital keys for maintaining healthy bees, thereby obtaining the end goal of that delicacy known as liquid gold. If I am to have gallons of honey for personal consumption as well as sales, then I must look beyond the hive box and into the heart of the colony.
Staring at the colonies from my window, I can see hundreds of thousands of bees diligently going about their business. The air is full of insects, each seeing to its appointed task. A consistent hum carries through my backyard. All looks healthy . . . at least on the outside. Open up the colony, and the story might be quite different. There may be a disease problem. Perhaps the dangerous varroa mites are taking over. Or maybe an aging queen who recently died has caused the entire colony’s life to be at stake. Merely looking at the outside of a colony will not tell me the true condition of the bees until it is too late and they are nearly dead.
Many Americans find themselves in a situation which necessitates we again learn to look beyond the outside of the box. Politically, we are dealing with the leftist agenda that seeks to undermine many of the traditional values our nation was built upon. Intellectual ideas like critical race theory, cultural Marxism, and radical gender theory are out to destroy concepts of justice and truth held by our ancestors. Familial relationships are strained by the purchase of fool’s gold served up by the culture. The temptation when we feel stressed, panicked, and overwhelmed is to merely glance at the issues and not deal with them clearly or directly. When it is 100 degrees outside, sunny, and humid, it is not easy for me to spend an extended period of time inspecting a struggling beehive, yet to do anything less would be to consign that colony to certain death. It is not going to be easy for us to think deeply in a society spiraling downward at 100 mph, but it is exactly what we must do in this moment.
The Temptation of Avoidance
Our natural impulse is to quit, stop paying attention, and go on with our lives. We believe burying our heads in the sands of all the entertainment available to us in the West, will remove us from the carousel of real life. Leave the world alone and it shall leave us alone, we cry. However, the world’s problems cannot be fixed by avoidance. Where will you go to flee from these issues? If you submerge yourself in sports, you will see social justice propaganda drowning the fields filled with protesting players raising their fists. Go to the movie theater where leftists values are lived out on the big screen of Hollywood’s productions. Dive into social media; most certainly, the relentless mob will assault you. There is nowhere to isolate yourself, no place left to hide. You will either stand up or be assimilated into the borg.
Thinking is going to be difficult for many of us. We have to learn to sort through the lies. We are exercising muscles in America our culture is not accustomed to using. When I first started beekeeping, it took me an extraordinary amount of time to inspect a colony. I might have been able to do three of them in two hours on a good day. Now, I can do many, many inspections within the same amount of time, getting more done during each inspection. I glean crucial information by noticing aspects of the hive I never knew existed before. Instead of just observing the amount of bees and developing larvae, I now observe their food storage and see the tiny eggs laid by the queen within the last 24-hours. In my beginning days, I did not notice as much going on within the hives and took longer because I had not developed as a beekeeper. This is a growth process and I will not be finished in this lifetime. Similarly, learning to thrive during increasingly perilous times will take time, so we had better start now!
Application In Action
What then must we do? First, we must ground ourselves in the truth. For the love of God, read your Bible. Go to church. Spend time with like-minded individuals who want to learn and see the issues at stake clearly. Take a deep look at the ripples in the river of history to know how the heroes of the past stood with convictional courage in their day. Turn off the talking heads of mainstream media and seek out sources who actually want to speak the truth. Listen to people you disagree with and think through their argumentation. Take a topic that is divisive in our culture and spend two months plunging its depths. Develop your mind so that you have the ability to clearly spot truth against error. Notice the little details; pay attention to that which most people merely glance over.
Secondly, our desire must be to stand courageously. Knowing what is good and true we must go forward with an unwillingness to budge from those lines. A wise person understands the hill upon which they are ready to die. What are you willing to lose your job over? If imprisonment were to come for conservatives, what beliefs are you willing to be imprisoned for? Pastor James Coates of Canada decided he was willing to go to jail for the Lordship of Christ over the church. What will you do when such scenarios present themselves at your feet? These are questions we must all ask and gain answers to before the battle heats up. By knowing where we stand, we enable ourselves to have greater clarity when the time for courage arises. If you do not have a stable foundation, you will be pushed aside by the crushing wave of totalitarianism. A person with a solid foundation will not only stand, but extend the rope of help to others during trying moments.
Finally, we must be “happy warriors.” This term used to describe Ronald Reagan, amongst others, characterizes the heart of a man who has joy in the heat of difficult battles. This deep joy we need is different from merely pursuing pleasure. It is tied to fighting for and believing in eternal truths. The knowledge of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ will produce joy amidst suffering for the Christian. Understanding the dignity and worth of every human created by God makes fighting uphill battles against injustices such as abortion worth it. When the raging tides progress, we keep marching forward with a joy in our soul the opposition has not even tasted. Because we know the truth of God and understand how to courageously live for Him, we are joyful. We must not be content to merely glance over the major issues of our day. The American people cannot keep looking at the external surface of issues any longer. It is our duty to put on the bee suit, pick up the hive tool, and crack open the box to look beneath the surface. Most likely we will get stung. Certainly, we will make mistakes. However, one day at a time, one month at a time, one year at a time we can and must grow. Our survival depends upon it.