"A Day with the Ants"
The day was hot and humid as most days are in Alabama, during the summer. It had been a busy morning of doing those ordinary everyday functions that keep a home running smoothly... sweeping, mopping, dusting, washing, ironing... you get the picture. Finally all the tasks were finished and everything was in its place, at least for that day. Now it was time for me to clean up and go get groceries.
Feeling rather smug about being ahead of schedule, I got into the car armed with my checkbook, coupons, pen and list. Arriving at the local grocery store I hurriedly went down the isles checking off each item on my list. All the way back home my thoughts kept turning toward the "special supper" I was preparing for Donny that night. It had been a busy time of revivals, and other church activities, so for us to be home was a rare event. I looked forward with anticipation to the coming evening together.
Pulling into our driveway I stopped the car, put it in park and turned off the engine. As I got out of the car and shut the door my thoughts were still focused on the coming evening. When I went to open the back door and get the groceries out it wouldn't open. It was then with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, that I realized the keys were locked in the car.
What to do... no cell phones... neighbors not at home... no key hid outside... can't get in touch with Donny! It felt like all the joy had seeped out of my soul. The plans and expectations of a fun evening spent together had now fallen apart. There would be at least a couple of hours before Donny would be home. By that time the groceries would be ruined along with all my plans.
At this point I did the only thing I could think of to do... I groaned and mumbled and cried a little. Next I beat on the car door, then I finally sat down on the edge of the carport where I'd be in the shade and prayed.
During the time I was praying God so quickly reminded me that during the activities of the day, I had neglected to spend time in His presence. Opening my eyes from prayer my attention was fixed on some ants marching steadily in a line.
The Lord brought to mind Proverbs 30:24,25. "There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." He also brought to my memory Proverbs 6:6, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise."
Now I don't know about you but when the Lord places scripture on my heart, I take it seriously. So for the next three, yes three hours, I took it upon myself to ponder or study these ants the Lord had so thoughtfully placed in front of me.
Here are a few things I found out about those ants during my time of observation. They never pushed, shoved, or cut off the ant in front of them. If an ant dropped his load the whole line stopped. The ant behind him put his load down and helped the other one pick his load back up. Once each had its' own load the whole line proceeded to march on.
Never once did an ant try to pick a fight or steal from another one. They were focused on getting to the big anthill out by the fence and did so with patience and diligence, always in unity helping the weaker ones along the way.
God taught me some valuable lessons that day about the integrity of those ants... about even in their busyness of harvesting, for the long winter ahead, they still took time to help the weaker ones be productive. Most of all he taught me that their strength was found in their unified front of service. He gently reminded me that it would be a wise choice to keep my focus on serving Him with integrity of heart and unity of spirit.
Reflecting back on that day many years ago, I still feed off the lessons God taught me. Since then I've never looked at an ant without remembering that life changing day. My fervent prayer is that you too will see the value of studying the ants and their ways.
God bless you until our next visit,