Just be like an ant

Just be like an ant.

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” (Pro. 6:6-9). Have you ever watched a colony of ants at work?  They are selfless and place the survival of the colony above themselves.  Each individual ant has a role to play in the larger scheme of things, and they never argue or shirk their responsibility.  If you have ever sat and observed them, you would quickly notice how hardworking they are – never stopping until the task at hand is complete.   The writer of this proverb uses the analogy of an ant when referring to man’s productivity. We live in a world that teaches we are the only thing that matters.  Our happiness is all that counts.  Other people are of no consequence, so we do not have to care about them.  The only thing that matters is satisfying our egocentric desires.

As a result of that, many people have also become increasingly lazy.  They expect life’s pleasures to come to them without any toil on their part. These entitled individuals believe that they are owed something merely because they exist. Instead of being conquerors, they have the attitude of, “Well, I did not ask to be born, so it is your responsibility to take care of me.”  “No!” says the writer emphatically.  He wants his readers, especially those who are sluggards, to “Go to the ant…”. What a brilliant comparison the author of Pro. 6:6-9has come up with.

We all know how hard ants work, not only for themselves but also for the greater good of the colony. They have a role to play, and they do it without hesitation or complaint. I have yet to see an ant drop something five times the size of their own body’s so they can complain about how “overworked” they are or how the “rewards are insufficient.” I am not saying that those complaints are never justified because there are occasions where that is absolutely the case, as we all are aware of.  I am speaking of the sluggard.  The person who is unwilling to lift a finger because they are too exhausted, too sick, too busy watching something on TV, or too engrossed in some mindless video game to get anything done.

They are the “I’ll do it tomorrow” group of people who will sit around and do nothing and then complain because nothing is getting done.  Of course, they are innocent and would do it themselves were they not so busy doing “other” things.  How many people do you know who will use any number of excuses to pass the work on to others?  How many people do you know who spend far too many hours sleeping and far too few accomplishing anything of value?  In some way, our spiritual lives are the same. Either we sleep in the darkness or walk in the light. There will come a time to rest, but that is not now.  Jesus said in John 9:4, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”  This is the time to work the ground, to plant and harvest, the season to get things done before the one to rest comes. You are not only working for yourself, but for the kingdom of God, and you do not want to be found wanting when the rewards are handed out.  Work now and rest in heaven forever.

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