In the furthest corner of my garden there is a simple concrete bench where I sit and pray in the mornings. Huge fat-leaved hostas surround it on one side. By mid summer, tall thin green flowered stalks have erupted from the enormous leafy hosta centers. Bumblebees love the delicate elongated white and purple hosta flowers. I am often surrounded by fat buzzing bumblebees swirling around me as I sit there.

I watch the bumblebees land on each flower and crawl deep into the flower center until all I can see is their shiny black bee bottoms.

At first, bumblebee flight appears haphazard and bumbling (they are appropriately named). They seem to be blindly fumbling around in the air, bumping into things. But as I observe them at length, I begin to perceive their planned patterns. I can see the bee eyeing a particular flower, making several quick passes to ensure all is well before landing. One by one, the bee visits each flower as the bright yellow globs of pollen attached to his legs grow larger.

Today I notice a lone wasp sitting quietly on one of the hosta flowers. An unsuspecting bumblebee lands on a flower near the wasp. The two insects are about the same size although the wasp is lean and mean while the bumblebee is fat and full. As the bumblebee attends his flower, the wasp slowly inches toward him until stopping on a petal of the flower containing the bee. The wasp waits…

When the bee emerges, I am surprised to watch the wasp attack the bee, biting him on his fuzzy back with short quick jabs. I want to help the bee. I love bumblebees and their pollination duties are so needed. Plus I am no fan of the hot headed bothersome wasps. But I am barefoot and have nothing to swat with. So I watch and silently root for my bee.

The bee appears slightly bothered but mostly unfazed by the unprovoked attack. He eventually flies away and carefully avoids that particular flower as he continues his flower visitation business. The snubbed wasp sits there unmoving, waiting for easier prey. Perhaps the wasp thinks he has won this battle? But my decision goes decidedly to the bumblebee. I give him an 8 1/2! Excellent performance! Great restraint! Nice form!

Lord, help me be more like that bumblebee! Help me keep my focus on the tasks at hand, the good work that needs to be done. Make my skin thick, impervious to offense. Give my bumbling path purpose and efficacy. Lead me away from dangers and temptations. Give me this day my daily bread. Deliver me. AMEN!