I am, and always have been, afraid of bees. And wasps, hornets and yellowjackets. Anything that buzzes and could sting me. I’m not allergic to them (that I know of), I just hate them. When I was little and one of those little flying creatures came near me, I would run inside terrified, adrenaline coursing through my system. I still get that rush of adrenaline whenever I kill one. But the other day I was driving and thinking about things (as you do) and my mind wandered to bees and wondering what it would actually feel like to get stung (because, despite my fear, I have never been stung). It’s not like the pain would be more than momentary, like the prick of a needle. And yes, I know there can be resulting swelling and throbbing, but really, even that sort of pain isn’t worth the energy I put into my fear of bees. I could get hurt a whole lot worse in a car accident or tripping and falling on the sidewalk, yet I still drive and I still walk places – without fear and trembling.
My fear is completely irrational, as most fear can be. It made me wonder what other things in life I’m afraid of but shouldn’t be and why we let fear rule us when it comes to anything. What are we so afraid of? For me, I think it’s fear of the unknown…bees are unpredictable to me because I don’t know anything about them, but a beekeeper does not share that fear because they get how bees work, they are familiar with how they act and why they sting people (and they’ve also been stung before so they know what to expect). I have the same level of fear when it comes to bats (totally creepy) and things in the water (specifically sharks or jellyfish, but I’m also not a fan of any sort of fish/creature coming near me underwater). I don’t understand these things and they freak me out. But should they? Why do I let them have any power over me? If I can trust God to protect me on the highway, keep my kids safe while they sleep a floor away from me and guard my husband as he travels halfway around the world, why am I afraid of a little bee with its tiny little stinger?
I’ve let my fear of bees overcome me and often make me act foolishly when faced with one. While I’m not thinking I should go and seek out a bee to sting me, I don’t think I need to let the fear control me either – or rather, I should learn to temper my reaction. I can treat them with respect (I realize how crunchy-granola that sounds, respecting a bee) but let go of my fear. Same way with other things in my life. There’s that saying, “Let go and let God.” Meaning, let God take control of that thing you are holding onto, remembering that is ultimately not you who is in control anyway.
While I’m not a worrier by nature (I leave that to my mom – my dad and I used to call her “WW” to stand for “worry wart”) I do fixate on things to the point that I either avoid them or can’t sleep because they are on the edge of my conscience. Instead, I’m going to work on turning my focus to God, letting him take care of things I have no control over and trusting that he will guide me through the times when I get “stung.” So much better than freaking out and running inside (a.k.a., worrying and avoiding). Maybe I’ll become a beekeeper someday, or maybe not (probably not), either way, I’m going to look my fear in the eye and tell it to take a hike – both of bees and of other things in life. Life is unknown, uncertain but God is constant and ever-present, whatever may come.