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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learn from the Ant

ANTS!!! It seems that no matter what I do they become more. They are in the kitchen, the bathroom, the dining room, the living room, outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs…they’re omnipresent!

The Bible says that we should “Go to the ant, (Prov. 6:6)” but I don’t really have to–they keep coming to me! It seems to me that I have a lot more than just patience to learn from these little pests. 

Solomon tells us that we can learn a lot about hard work and diligence from the ant. This is true. I must have seen 10 billion ants in my life, but I have never seen one taking a coffee break (though I have seen them take coffee). I’ve never seen them throwing a Frisbee, watching a sitcom, or laying out getting a tan (though I once toasted a few with a magnifying glass). I suspect their life span reflects this workaholic attitude (and all that caffeine and sugar can’t be good for them)–but you got to admit they work hard and accomplish a lot. 

The ant is able to carry something ten times its weight, but nevertheless, “they are not a strong folk (Prov. 30:25).” It isn’t hard to beat an ant. One on one, I will always win! An ant is nothing. I have single-handedly swooped down, and, without mercy, wiped out an entire population of ants simply with a wave of a Black Flag. Pure, raw, power! For a moment, I feel omnipotent…until I take out the next day’s trash. In spite of my superior, high-tech, 20th century, rose-scented chemical warfare…their baaaacck! I may pay the rent, the bank may have the deed, but there is no mistaking the fact that the ants own the land! Scientists have even predicted that a nuclear holocaust big enough to destroy all mankind would not put an end to these insects. So don’t believe anything Raid tries to tell you. 

What is it that makes this huge little army so invincible? Are they smarter than us? No. Are they stronger than us? No. Do they have superior weapons? No. Do they have a more astute strategy than us? Well, maybe. They have a very simple (with the size of their brains it would have to be) yet unbeatable strategy. I see two things that make them invincible.

First, they multiply. “They prepare their food in the summer” (Prov. 30:25) and they multiply all year. For every two hundred I destroy, ten thousand are being hatched. 

Second, they cooperate. A single ant is nothing, but as a corporate, cooperating and communicating colony they are undefeated. 

We can learn a lot from the ant. If we cooperate we can accomplish more together than alone. If we multiply ourselves and our effort, we can also be undefeated. It seems to me this is God’s plan. We can each make a commitment this year to make one more reproducing disciple. Every pastor can have a Timothy. Each church can make plans to plant another church within the year. We can begin to prepare our missionaries now, in the nest, so that in the future we can unleash an army of disciples on an unsuspecting world. We can cooperate as a team, multiply our influence, and accomplish more together than we ever could as individuals. We too can infiltrate and influence this whole planet. If an ant can do it, why can’t we?
“Go to the ant…observe her ways and be wise.”
Proverbs 6:6

1 comment:

Tim Sheasby said...

My wife and I were taking a lunchtime walk a few days ago. We came to an ants nest and my wife shoved the stick she was carrying into the ant heap and made a hole several inches in diameter. She then left the stick standing in the hole just to see what would happen. By the next day the hole was completely repaired and the stick was almost cemented into the hole! We took our two teens to see it and repeated the experiment (poor ants) and again, within 24hours all was repaired. Amazing little creatures.