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Harvest, happiness and bee stings

September 28, 2014

It’s Harvest Festival time again. The time to celebrate all the bounty of this earth, the Creation and the Creator.

Now I love this world. Its complex and beautiful and constantly changing. But one thing it is not, is sweet, or soft. This world is beautiful and harsh all at the same time.

If I had any illusions about this they were shattered today. Some idiot planted Russian Vine behind the garage so this pretty but incredibly fast growing plant has shot up over the garage, and through the roof tiles. It happened so fast! So I got the trimmer and hacked it back. I was about 15-20 feet from my bee hives. This is usually enough for them to completely ignore me. But I forgot about their hatred of power tools. Why I don’t know, but they really hate the mower getting too close and, as I was about to find out, the hedge trimmer too. So picture the scene, me up a ladder with a sharp power tool, hacking away at what looked like a tropical jungle when the bees decided that they had had enough. They went for me, I struggled on. I got stung. I managed to finish but not without flailing about on a ladder, cutting the cord to the trimmer and getting badly stung. I just managed to keep them off my face but for the first time ever I was stung on the forehead. I’ve been stung many times and the ones on my hands are not much of a problem but my forehead hurts, it throbs and its giving me a headache. Yes, I know, I should have been wearing a bee suit or at least a veil, but it’s not so easy when those things are in the garage and you’re flapping around on the roof.

So I am only too aware that the world may indeed be flowing with milk and honey but that it is also quite capable of biting, or in my case stinging back.

This is the truth about creation. It is beautiful and it was created perfect. But now its a real mix of good and bad, soothing and painful.

Neonicotinomide pesticides have been banned due to risks to bees and other pollinators. My bees have done really well this year but I’ve no idea whether or not the ban had anything to do with that. What I do know is that many farmers are now having real problems with pests that would have been killed off before the ban: Life is messy, nature is messy.

I also know that most farmers have had an exceptionally good year this year. The weather seems to have been just right for almost everything that they’ve grown. A welcome change from more challenging years in the not too distant past. That is another thing about this world, it is not predictable.

There can be feast then famine. Sunshine the rain or hail – possibly all in the same day.

Amongst all of this the one thing I know for certain is that the Creator is good, that the future is even better – A new heaven and a new earth, perfect and in harmony with itself and its Creator. But until Christ returns I just have to trust the Spirit to give me all that I need to celebrate the good times and get through the bad.

I’m still sore from my stings but today is a good day. Warm and sunny, the larder is full, the autumn colours are just beginning to show and the garden flowers are still in bloom.

It is two years today since I started as a minister in Harleston and I can honestly say that this is the right place, a good place, and God has big plans for our harvest to come.

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