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Consider the Ant

Consider the Ant: are they destructive or determined? What lessons can we learn from them?Image courtesy of Pixabay

My house is under attack. The armies, er colonies moved in a few weeks ago and we have been at war ever since.

It seems the minute I reclaim one area of the house, they move on to the next.

So far they have attempted to claim my breaker box, my bathroom drain, the backdoor, and the kitchen sink.

To get under the kitchen cupboard they begin digging out the grout between the tiles.

As I stood watching the destruction wrought by this army of 2 mm soldiers, I remembered the words “Consider the ant, you sluggard.”

What was it that God wanted us to learn from these creatures? I looked at their handiwork and all I saw was destruction – broken tiles that were once whole. Holes in my house where there were none. But, could it be that they were not simply destructive? Could it be that they were just … determined?

What did God want us to learn from the ant? Now I totally admit it – I can be a bit of a sluggard. I sleep when I should work and play when I should be getting things done.

I have big dreams, but –

I have a lot of things to get done but –

Am I alone in this?

Or do you find that sometimes when it comes time to work, you allow things to get in the way. Real obstacles. Real challenges, and sometimes, not.

Do you allow little things – and imagined ones too – to derail you from attaining your dream, your life’s work?

What if the lesson we were to learn from the ant was how to work around challenges? Have you ever noticed how resourceful they are?

One day you notice a few ants along the windowsill of your kitchen window. They seem fairly harmless so you ignore them. Pretty soon their numbers swell and you have a downright invasion.

Now you’re interested. They’re becoming a pest. So you sprinkle lemon on your windowsill…and the ants disappear. “Yes!” you exclaim. “I’ve won.”

And then you go in the bathroom and realize that they seem to have relocated to your bathroom drain. “How do ants live in a drain?” you ask yourself. “We bathe every day.”      

Lessons from an ant

You see, that’s the determination of the ant. Where we see obstacles, they see opportunity.

How is it that something so small seem to have absolutely no fear?

I think it’s because they don’t have anyone telling them they can’t. They do what they were created to do – no more, no less.

Determined Not Destructive

When they are in danger, they seek shelter. When they are hungry, they seek food. The ant does not allow anything to get in its way; instead it seeks a way around it. Here are three lessons we can learn from the ant:

1. Do not allow anything to get in your way. I don’t know about you but I’m easily distracted. If something gets just a little bit hard, that’s it, I want to stop. Yes, sometimes I go back to it, but sometimes I don’t.

And this is where we can learn from the ant: when there is an obstacle, find a way around it. Instead of giving up and saying, “I can’t do this, it’s too hard.”  We need to practice breaking goals into smaller steps and focusing on one thing at a time. Be S.M.A.R.T. We all know the acronym but how many of us actually practice it?

2. Work hard for what you want. There’s a reason why the ant is considered industrious. They are constantly working – building a community, finding food, gathering it, storing it.

Can you imagine how intimidating the world is from an ants’ perspective? Yet, they focus on the task at hand and put the effort in to get what they want.

3. We are stronger together. A single ant is easily squashed, but a colony is a mighty force. Too often we are so focused on competing with each other that we don’t realize we’re stronger together.

We need to find ourselves a community of people who have the same goals we do who are willing to work together for a common purpose. Work together instead of striving against each other.

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Proverbs 6:6 ESV

 A tiny creature, but from them we learn a mighty lesson. We may find the results of their actions to be destructive but I think they are beautifully determined. What do you think?

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