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Friday, March 25, 2011

Consider the ant

6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.  Nobody has to tell it what to do.  All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions.  So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?  How long before you get out of bed?  A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?  Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest!
(Proverbs 6:6-11)

Here are a few simple lessons from the ant:

They have no "over-site" leader, yet they are quite productive.  They don't need a "boss" to compel them to work, but find great satisfaction in their gathering, laying up stores, and being in union with those in their colony who are also engaged in their same work.  There are times today when we find pockets of those in a work environment that simply work when they are watched.  The ants would have nothing in their storehouse if they did that - they'd each be out enjoying the sunshine and finding the juicy tidbits they could call their own.

They are committed to the whole - not just themselves.  You see the ants working together to accomplish the results of laying up the stores, of increasing the size of their colony, keeping their passages clear, etc. - for the good of all, not just the "top ant" or for their own benefit.  There is a concern that goes beyond how each decision will affect the individual ant to how it will affect the colony.

They are very aware of the seasons in their life.  They know when to store up and when to use their resources.  Their choices of activity are reflective of being "in tune" with their environment, the various changes on the horizon, and the "future focus" of living a prepared life.  They watch carefully and make decisions about the activities of the day based on the "trends" they see.  This is wisdom in action.

They work together, in unity.  You don't usually see one ant pushing the grain or seed out of the colony when another is trying to drag it in.  Instead, they pull together to get the job done - one fulfilling their purpose of clearing way for what will be stored, the other doing the work of gathering into the storehouse.  They "partner" together in the work - they fulfill their unique purpose.

Just a few lessons from the ant to ponder this day.  Enjoy!