Live Life Like the Ant???
Today, as I was reading Proverbs 6, one verse jumped off the page and landed squarely in my lap!
It was verse 6. It reads like this… “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise.” Upon googling the ways of the ant, I learned that many others have written about this exact same topic. At first I thought, GREAT, I can simply link to one of my favorite blog posts on the topic and be done! Then I read a few of them and realized that though they were extremely well written, the purpose of writing every day is not to copy, paste and share someone else’s work. The purpose is for ME to write my posts so that I learn the lessons God has intended for me. So, with a little inspiration from many others around the web, here is my take on three lessons we can learn from the ant.
The very first thing that came to mind when I thought about the ant, was it’s incredible strength and power! Seriously, I remember watching a colony of ants one afternoon and there was one carrying a crumb many times its size! I knew it could be done but had never witnessed it in person. According to researchers, ants can carry items 10-50 times their body weight. It was truly something remarkable to witness.
Can you imagine if we had that power? Think about it like this. I weigh roughly 250 pounds. If I were able to carry 50 times my body weight, I would have no trouble carrying something that weighed 12,500 pounds! What?!?! To put that in perspective, it would be like being able to carry, not one but two FULL SIZE PICKUP TRUCKS on my back! And if you weighed 125 pounds, you would be able to carry one! Can you imagine if your 12 year old, 120 pound kid had strength like that? The child labor laws would have to be rewritten!
But seriously, with that kind of physical strength would you be scared of anything? What’s most interesting about their strength though, is that in order for them to have great physical strength, they must also have great mental strength, right? After all, without great mental strength, how would they even have had the courage to try to lift something that heavy in the first place?
As I look at myself, over the past several years (post-divorce), my greatest weakness has been in the form of my mental strength/toughness. Writing that out and seeing it on paper really hurts, but it’s true. I am capable of much more but I let my mind get in the way. For me it’s not as much about the fear of “doing”, as it is about the fear of not being accepted. The fear I have is that if I put myself out there, fully out there, to the best of my ability out there… I won’t be good enough or even worse, I will simply be ignored. If that happens while I am really trying, I won’t have the excuse that “I wasn’t really trying”, to fall back on.
If God is speaking to me today and asking me to not only examine but “live” the ways of the ant, then applying strength in the form of mental toughness is my first step. As Dr. Seuss said, “those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind”.
The second way of the ant that I really admire is that of teamwork. If you watch a colony of ants at work, each of them seems to have a role and ALL are doing their part for the greater good of all the others. They simply work together for the benefit and survival of all.
Can you even imagine what the world would look like if the human race was capable of working together in a similar manner?
The third and final way, is how the ant seemingly never quits. I remember as a kid we had many big ant hills in our yard. Each week when I would mow the grass, I would knock down several large hills. Then the following week, there they were again, sometimes even bigger!
The ants never quit, they never gave up. When one hill was leveled, they were instantaneously back to work, building it again, making it even bigger! I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I never quit. Would I finally have that elusive set of abs that I have longed for since I was a pudgy little 9 year old?
Seriously how many times have you given up on an idea, a passion or a relationship only to look back and regret it years later? In my bathroom, I have a picture that shows the patents of four every day, common household items. I placed this picture there to serve as a daily reminder to me that even the best ideas, like toilet paper, a scale, a toilet seat lid and a toothbrush, at one point were no more than someone’s fantasy. What if any of these people had quit, listened to the critics or had been afraid of being ignored or rejected? Can you imagine how different the world would look without the invention of the toothbrush? Or how different it would smell without toilets and toilet seats? Or the one that perplexes me most, exactly what did people do to keep their bottoms clean, prior to the invention of toilet paper in 1891????
I have heard it said several times this week that success leaves clues. Most often this saying is telling us to examine other successful people who have achieved what it is that we desire and repeat their actions. Today, I would like to finish by saying that while I agree that success leaves clues, instead of only looking to other successful humans to find those clues, maybe we should slow down, look down and look for those clues in the life of the ant.
Have a great day!