Dear Friends in Christ,
Standing in a field of lavender recently, I was taking in the beauty of the purple flowers and enjoying the luscious scent of lavender when I began to notice the gentle humming sound all around me. It was the sound of countless honeybees dutifully moving from flower to flower, plant to plant feeding on nectar and spreading pollen. Their work is subtle, but essential to the production of laven-der and so many of the plants and foods we enjoy. Rain, sun, and soil are all nec-essary for good crops, but all the careful tending in the world is for naught, if not for the bees and other pollinators that exist in God’s Creation.
It is easy to focus on the fruit that comes from the work of the honeybees, and neglect to credit their critical role in the process. Indeed, for as much as the He-brews talked of entering a land flowing with milk and honey, there would be no milk and no honey in the land across the Jordan, were it not for the bees. As the bees go, so goes our way of life.
The same can be said about prayer. Prayer is to the life of Christian discipleship as bees are to our existence. Without prayer, the landscape of our souls will quickly become barren—picture a lavender field with no purple, and you get the picture. And yet, it is easy to overlook the role of prayer as it relates to a hearty and vigorous Christian walk. We might consider the outward lives of the saints and want to emulate their service by mimicking what we see, but without the commitment to prayer we can only get so far.
So, from time to time it is good to retune our prayer lives so they can propagate the kind of life in the Spirit the Lord wants us to have. We do this by taking stock in what is working and what is not, by exploring new avenues for prayer and meditation, and by putting in the time. Soon, our prayers can be robust once again, connecting us to the presence of God, to the needs of others, and to the rhythms of the Spirit in the world around us.
I invite you to take time in the lavender field of your soul and listen for the sounds around you. Can you hear the Spirit? Is the field fruitful and lush? Or is it time to call for the beekeeer?
P.S. I hope you will join us for the Tools for Prayer experience each Sunday morning in August and at the B&B Family Lavender Farm on August 11 for the church potluck!