The month of July has been ant month around our house. We’ve had so much rain that ants decided to move indoors with us. They find our kitchen to be particularly delightful, especially around my sink and on my kitchen counters. Nothing seems to deter them either. Yes, I can kill them, but within minutes, there are more to replace them. The tiny members of the ant army come and go, happily collecting any little morsel they can find. No matter how clean I keep my kitchen, these ants are everywhere. They only come when we have heavy rains and they are gone a few days after the rains stop. But before they gather their last minuscule bits of treasure, I just want to throw a stick of dynamite in my kitchen and run—blast them all to smithereens.
While I may feel like hating the little boogers, there is something to be admired about their perseverance, diligence, tenacity, and audacity. Yes, these wee insects are praiseworthy. They have so much to teach us. They are great influencers, if we let them be.
What can we learn from the ants?
- They somehow seem to know that there will be days ahead when they might not be able to find enough food. So in preparation for that, they store up. Proverbs 30:25 says: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.
- They do not give up. No matter what trap you set or spray you spray, they keep coming. They are goal-oriented and will press on as if their lives depend upon it. Actually, they do!
- They look for the greater good. They take back to the nest anything they find that they deem worthy for the queen. No matter how tired they may get from going back and forth and back and forth, they keep going.
- They are quiet workers, never complaining. They are selfless.
- They don’t argue with each other. In fact, they work quite well as a team. They politely step around each other and don’t block each other’s way or prevent a teammate from reaching his goal.
So why do we hate them so much? Yes, they do make our skin crawl and they can make a mess of our picnics. But they are very useful in nature. They clean up messes that otherwise would sit around and pollute our world. Ants teach us a lot about working together as a team, getting along with each other, working for the greater good, and not complaining about things that have no eternal value. Ants show us how to put our own desires aside for the desires of a greater being—God. They teach us to work honorably and to never stop until we’re prepared for what may come. If ants were readers, I bet they’d have the whole Bible memorized in no time. Ants are great role models.
To start your new school year off right, watch the ants. Consider getting an ant farm and making it a family project to learn from them. Let them teach you about preparation, teamwork, and perseverance.
Single ant: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/136602
Ant friends: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/885548
~written by Sherri