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To Be Like the Ant!

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

A few days ago, my family and I decided to take a walk down our little sandy lane after supper. They wanted the exercise and I wanted to look for muscadines. As it turned out, we got both. ‘Bout half way up the road we came upon a trail of ants. They had started out in a sandy area and traveled about sixty yards up the road over a clay hill to a source of food their scouts had discovered.

Ants are fascinating creatures. As we watched the work force laboring to secure food for their families, I thought about the verses above. These ants had been so diligent at storing this food that they had worn a trail in the road about one forth an inch deep. There was a steady stream of ants coming to the food and a steady stream going back to the mound. They had been at it so long and so diligently that they had actually worn a trail in the earth. What was even more incredible is that where I noticed the trail was red clay. Now it takes a lot of trips for an ant to wear a trail in red clay. What was even more fascinating was the distance. For you and me it would only be a matter of seconds and sixty to eighty steps. For the ants, it was miles. Think of how many steps an ant has to make to equal one of yours. They delivered their load and returned untiringly to get another.

It is no wonder to me that God used the ant to illustrate how we should approach life. The Proverbs section goes on to say, “How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will your rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond, and want like an armed man.” God will not tolerate laziness. He detest the sluggard.

Play “What If” with me for a few minutes. What if… God’s church today was a busy as the ants? Would we be able to keep up with the growth and development of God’s Kingdom? What if… God’s people today were of the same singleness of mind to work as the ants? What if … we had the same goals and ambitions for the Kingdom, combined with a tenacity to get the job done?

I stopped on the road that day in awe. I’ve seen ants before, but never with the clarity that I had that day. They passed each other, some going in one direction, some in the other. Each had a job to do and each one was doing it. There were none sitting idle on the side of their little road waiting for the other guy to do his work. There were none stopping to fight with the others over the way they chose to carry their load. Occasionally, when one struggled under his tremendous load, one in the opposite lane would leave his ranks and join the other in lifting his load.

The next time you pass a line of ants, stop and watch for a little while. They are fascinating creatures. Perhaps God put them there in that place for you to see. Then think to yourself, “If I were like the ant… what would the church be like?”