Learning from the Ants
If you ever want to learn something, you go to an expert in that particular field. King Solomon advised his son to go to the ants to learn their ways and be industrious. 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 (Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV).
An ant is insignificant compared to humans or any other creature, yet there is none that is as assiduous as an ant. A sluggard, is a person who is downright lazy. A person who refuses to work, procrastinates, makes excuses and constantly puts off work, which leads to failure and poverty. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man (Proverb 6: 9-11 NIV).
Ants work hard during summer so that during winter they have abundance. They proactively plan and prepare for the future. Instead of feasting and holidaying in summer, they toil hard for the scarcity in winter. A sluggard, is not concerned of the future; he is careless and satisfied with the present. Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing (Proverbs 20: 4 NIV). We need to prepare for our future in eternity and not just be concerned with earthly life, but focus on our eternal life.
Laziness is not a sickness, it is a habit, and habits can always be changed. When you consistently and diligently work hard, you will not be lazy anymore, but like the ant, you will be successful and be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Sometimes, people are lazy and refuse to work because they don’t want to miss out on welfare or financial support. Many depend on others to support them instead of working hard and providing for themselves.
Financial assistance and government aid are given to people who are temporarily out of work due to illness or unemployment. It is not a means to encourage laziness. If you depend on welfare, you will be barely able to get by in life. The longer you stay on welfare, the longer you stay defeated. Being on welfare solely, due to laziness, is a sure way to continue in poverty. Overcome laziness by committing to be hard-working, begin by changing your mind-set and you will change your life.
Sometimes, people stay on welfare because they give up too easily. They tried to find a job and were unsuccessful. The fear of failure enslaves them, and they never try again. The secret to receiving a blessing is to be a blessing to someone else. Don’t just sit idle, do something valuable for someone else, enrich other people’s lives with your time and resources.
The abdomen of the ant has two stomachs. One holds the food for itself and the other is for the food to be shared with other ants. Ants teach us how to share our time, talents and resources with others. We are blessed when we are a blessing to others. When we hoard it all for ourselves, we lose it all. We live in a spiritual kingdom of giving and receiving. If we don’t give, we don’t receive. The measure we give is exactly the measure we receive.
People want to work, but they feel tired, exhausted and are focused to give up. If you are fatigued all the time, find out the reason for your tiredness. Often, just eating healthy and exercising can solve the problem. At other times, it could be an underling illness, which can be easily treated with proper diagnosis and medication.
Ants lived alongside with the big and mighty dinosaurs, which are extinct long ago, but the tiny ants still thrive on earth. Ants are not intimidated by anyone, nor do they get distracted from doing their work. If you obstruct their path, they find a way around and continue on their journey. If you flood their anthill, they immediately start over again. They are committed to their job, it’s amazing how ants can find their way into an airtight sealed container. They are highly organised, they never procrastinate, they are persistent, and they work meticulously. Ants carry loads that are way much more than their own weight. Ants can lift up to 30 to 100 times their body weight. Ants are fast runners too, which means compared to their size, they run as fast as a racehorse. There’s no doubt that ants work harder than any human person or any living creature.
Many people are hard-working, some have built great business empires with their zealousness. According to worldly standards they have it all figured out, they are standing at the pinnacle of success, but when they die, they leave everything behind. They were successful in this world but are lost for eternity. Don’t let this be you. Are you saved? What are you working for that will make a difference in eternity? Is your work perishable or is it eternal? Are you lazy doing nothing or are you working hard for the wrong reasons?
The life-span of some ants are as short as 45 to 60 days, which means the ants that are gathering food during summer may not live long for winter. Even then, the ants work hard so that others, that are alive during winter, would have food. Ants are selfless creatures, that’s work relentlessly for the wellbeing of their community.
If you have observed ants, they usually travel in a straight line. They take the shortest route to their food source instead of going through the scenic route. They are goal-oriented, they have a task to perform and they carry out efficiently.
Ants teach us a great deal of wisdom. The one that catches my attention is, when one ant finds food, it leaves a distinct scent behind, directing other ants towards the food source and soon many ants will find their way to the food source, leaving heavier scent for many more ants to follow. Ants teach us a great lesson on evangelisation. When we find the bread of life, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have to let others know about it, so that they too can be saved, and likewise, become earnest witnesses for Jesus Christ.