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Ant Hills of Evidence
Southeast Texas is dotted with ant beds popping up every where. And if you are looking for illustrated Bible lessons about work, just sit and watch the activity around an ant mound for a few minutes.
Noted as one of the wisest men, King Solomon advised some spring and summer sightseeing: “Go 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).
With over 11,000 known species of ants on this planet and ants far outnumbering humans, there are plenty of teachers to go around. In my yard, fire ant mounds have cropped up like chill bumps on arms, although probably not the species Solomon watched. Most likely, he observed the industrious harvester ants, living in arid parts of the world.
Harvester ants collect seeds then they carry them into underground chambers, just beneath the crust of the earth. There, workers husk the seeds, and then refuse is carried to the surface while other workers ferry the nutritious part of the seed to storage areas. If the seed is too moist, it is taken above ground to air-dry in the sun. These ants also make bread from seed kernels, food for their larvae.
Many fascinating ant species share our world. Leaf cutter ants farm miniature fungi to supply their colony with food. Aphid-tending ants keep bug-cattle, “milking” them for a honey dew substance. Weaver ants build their homes in trees.
Weaver baby ants forego their cocoon silk while gluing leaves together for the colony’s home. Leaving them vulnerable, the infants are tended in a special nursery until adulthood. God’s ant workers are true marvels.
Ants are not lazy. If they loll around through the summer they go hungry in the winter. I can’t imagine them getting sidetracked as often as I do. Some of life’s current attractions are real time wasters. If time is not spent wisely, my days go into the red, and my week goes bankrupt.
Another Solomon work-proverb is, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). I think Solomon is saying life will not go on forever; a worker is to stay focused, keeping mind and hands on the same project. Half-heartedness is a salute to laziness, not God.
Hard work has many benefits. One is getting to eat. Other advantages are peace about finished projects, helping our sluggard economy, and guiltless nights of rest when we’ve labored with gusto. This is all very true.
A little ant told me.