Consider the Ant

 

Photo by Akhil suryajith on Unsplash

 

by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

My mother loves to tell a story about me. To this day she still cannot tell the story without bursting into laughter even though she has told the story multiple times. For me it is a story that is only funny years later. At the time is simply was not funny.

For most of my childhood life, we lived either in the country or in a very small town. It was a time when you were allowed to explore in the woods and countryside. I loved being outside and was always into something it seemed.

 

One place we lived had an abundance of fairly large and busy ant hills. I enjoyed watching the ants as they carried large bits of food down into the ant hill and was fascinated by watching their industrious activity. Being young and curious, I would poke around the ant hills to see the increased activity that took place when you disrupted the ant hill.

One afternoon I was exploring and found a really big ant hill. It had the big red ants and were more fun to watch than the smaller ants. Soon I crouched down and started to watch the ants. I would poke the edge of the hill to see them scurry a bit faster. Then when they settle down, I would poke it again.

What I didn’t realize is that where I was sitting straddled an ant highway. It did become apparent, however, when I realized that they were using me now as part of their highway. This soon became a major problem. I now had ants in my pants.

I headed for the house as fast as I could run. Bursting through the door my mother remembers me dancing and jumping around and yelling, “I have ants in my pants” as loud as I could.

She was not helpful, as I remember, because she just started to laugh at the sight of her son dancing a jig. I stripped off my pants as quickly as I could and started to flick the ants off all the while alternating between yelps of pain and shouting, “Get them off, get them off!” It is funny now. Not so much then.

Proverbs 6:6-8 states:

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.

Proverbs 6:6-8

I have since read quite a bit about ants. Solomon was correct in that they can teach so much to each of us as we work for Jesus.

 

There are different types of duties for the ants in an anthill. They all do those duties with diligence and attention to detail. They don’t worry about what others are doing. They just do what they are supposed to do. They also can carry heavy loads that are much greater than their weight. They work together as a team in perfect harmony. And yes, I found out that they defend their territory with a vengeance as well.

We have been challenged and commissioned by Jesus to tell the world the good news of Jesus. We all have a part to play and a job to do. Each one’s position is important and vital to the mission. Are you following your calling?