I went out to feed my dog the other day. We have a Golden Retriever, beautiful dog, kind of a spaz and bit neurotic (she freaks out at beach balls, plastic bags, and strange men in hats!?! To mention a few), and as I began to dump her food in the dish I noticed it was moving?!, like wind was blowing it but there was no wind. So I looked closer and it was swarming with ants and they were actually working together to what seemed to be carrying the dish away. Well, I took care of the infestation by following the line of reinforcements back to what looked like a nest.
As I dealt with my ant invasion, I was again amazed at the ant. What fascinating creations of God that can carry some fifty times their weight, practice farming, are communal, and care greatly for their young. As well, the ant is illustration God has provided to teach us about life.
Job 12:7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Now yes, these beings do not instruct us like a coach or how-to book, but their actions have some valuable lessons. These lessons can apply to work, school, as a stay at home parent, grandparent, retired, looking for a job, or whatever we do to occupy our days. The lessons of the ant give us a picture of God’s desires and expectations on our lives.
Proverbs 6:6-9 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
One of the first lessons we can learn from the ant is to be self-motivated and self-disciplined. To be diligent in what we do, to not always wait to be asked or blame others, but to take responsibility and do our excellent best.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
As well to not be lazy.
Proverbs 10:4-5 Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
It’s not that we all become workaholics, but that we work hard, play hard, and rest well. However, in our self-indulgent world we can spend way too much time, effort, energy, and resources on ourselves and not keep in balance to do the work we are called to do.
One more lesson from the ant, they are social. They live in community. Their gathering of food is not just for themselves but for the colony. They are looking out for each other…just like we should.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:16-17 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
How fun that a little ant could teach us all this! What an amazing little creature. I was inspired and maybe you will be to…to work like an ant.
Seeking to work like the ant, along with you,