I’m pleased to share an essay that my wife, Laura, wrote a while back. She is an ESOL teacher here at a local high school. I only hope that some day I can write like her. She’s helped me tremendously with my writing and edits 98% of my stuff. So the other 2% is where you’ll probably find the grammatical errors. I hope you enjoy!
Law of Life: The Direction of Your Life Depends on Who You Follow
by Laura Johnson
My father-in-law is a beekeeper. One day while at his house, I had the good fortune of being able to accompany him on a beekeeping errand. A swarm of bees had taken up residence in a small front yard in the midst of Columbus, Georgia’s suburbia. A frantic lady, the owner of that residence, called my father-in-law, pleading for help. He gathered up his beekeeping garb and an empty bee super, and we headed in that direction.
When we arrived, I saw a huge black ball on a small tree in the front yard. This ball was covered with crawling bees, surrounded by flying bees, and was, itself, bees. I gained a new respect for my father-in-law as I watched him don the beekeeping hat, veil and gloves, and wade in. While I stood a safe distance away, he took the super, held it close to the big ball of bees, then proceeded to bend the tree over and shake the bees into the super. Unfortunately, less than half of the hive fell into the super. Great clumps of bees landed on the ground, while still more angrily darted about in the air. Our family beekeeper let out a groan, expressing his disappointment, and said, “We can only hope the queen made it in.”
What I saw next amazed me. Indeed the queen had fallen into the box, and all the other bees knew it. The clumps of bees on the ground began organizing themselves and marching in procession toward the super, up its sides and into its depths. The angry, complaining airborne bees also quickly found their target. In a matter of just a few moments, the bees were out of sight, their restless buzzing replaced by silence. The tree was empty; the sky was empty, and the ground was clear. These bees got a free ride back to the ranch where they lived happily ever after, and we all enjoyed the benefit of some most delicious honey.
Not all creatures are as wise as bees. We’ve all witnessed people flying off in all different directions with no clear life purpose, producing nothing—or nothing so sweet as honey. Others choose leaders, but choose unwisely, their lives inevitably producing pain and bitterness for themselves and others. In contrast, those who choose their leaders wisely and follow them whole-heartedly have the greatest impact on our world. President Ronald Reagan is the favorite of many conservatives and admired by many across party lines for his courageous leadership and calm demeanor. Who can forget his famous words, “Mr. Gorbechav, tear down this wall!”? Someone once asked Reagan, concerning his prayer life, “Do you really believe somebody is listening up there?” His response was, “Oh my! If I didn’t believe that, I’d be scared to death!” Ronald Reagan had found his queen bee, and the results were sweet. In my own life, I have learned that the direction my life takes and the legacy I create for those who come after me depend on the one I choose to follow. I can, unfortunately, look back and see large chunks of time wasted. Not having a clear notion of whom to follow, or simply choosing not to follow, I have frolicked in futile activity or darted about in the infuriating expanse like a bee without her queen. Yet, those times when I have been the most sure of my Leader and the most committed to following Him have been the times that produced life’s best honey.