(I need to "bee" posting to my blog more often -- I think I set a new record for space between blogging...yikes!)
My husband's parents came to visit during the Thanksgiving holiday, which is one of our favorite holidays (even though every day becomes Thanksgiving Day when you have cancer and are still alive). While they were in town we took them to the Mary Kay building where my husband works, to see the Mary Kay Museum. Among the many fascinating artifacts are items that symbolize the bumble bee. Mary Kay Ash used the analogy of the bumble bee to reinforce her positive, "can-do" attitude. Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but it does. On Friday night we took the kids to see The Bee Movie, where they mention the same thing.
Mary Kay Ash said that bumble bees fly because they don't know that it's not aerodynamically feasible. She's right -- they don't have the ability to doubt their possibilities, so they just do what they have to do. People aren't as lucky. Sometimes we only know enough to be dangerous, and it's too easy to let information work to discourage and defeat us. I've heard the question asked before: "What would you try if you knew you could not fail?" And my karate teacher has explained that a black belt (ranked person) is "just a white belt who didn't give up".
With cancer there are many things that can cause discouragement, from the initial diagnosis to days that don't feel so good, to days when setbacks occur. But I was taught by an enthusiastic cancer survivor (who trounced her odds) that it's important to avoid giving into discouragement, clinging instead to hope. Norman Cousins (who laughed himself into remission and became a best-selling author) would agree.
Bees aren't the only ones who (literally) fly in the face of conventional wisdom. I think there is a reason why the scriptures caution us against trusting in the "arm of flesh". Not that secular learning and knowledge aren't important, but sometimes we let our universe be confined to what we can see and touch and empirically demonstrate, and then we miss out on a real universe of possibilities.
A bee has a fat body and tiny wings, and based on available knowledge, it shouldn't fly. I have been diagnosed with a disease that claims most people within a year, so based on available knowledge I shouldn't be expected to be alive today (especially since I had tumor progression occur during the first year of treatment). But somehow I managed to "bee" alive today--with my book in print and a purple belt in karate to boot.
I have subjected my right brain to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Based on available knowledge, my brain shouldn't be able to process music as well as it used to. But somehow I managed to "bee" singing today! I actually sight-read music better than before. And within a few weeks, if I can manage to fend off cold season, I am slated for my fourth Messiah solo performance since my cancer diagnosis and surgery. Previously I had never had this many opportunities in such a short period of time.
My story is not that unique. Statistics aside, I am meeting more walking miracles every day. Trust not in the arm of flesh.
The Apostle Paul struggled with a "thorn in the flesh", which was not removed despite repeated prayers for healing. Yet he gloried in his infirmity and testified, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Paul decided to "bee". And he's right. No matter what challenges or obstacles we face, we have the choice to either "bee" or "not bee", when it comes to realizing the possibilities before us, based on where we chose to put our trust.