Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. Proverbs 6:6
I watched in wonder at the scene laying out a few inches from my feet. As some ants scurried in a line over the sidewalk to carry minute morsels back to their mound, one little ant dragged a piece of straw three times his length. At first the others skirted around him coming and going. I could almost hear their grumbling. “Look at that guy?” “Leave it to Joe to drag a stupid twig.” “Please, can’t he fall in line?”
On he trudged with his prize, not wavering in his quest. (I guess it was a “he”.) What tenacity. Finally, when he got to the entrance he stopped. How to get a stiff, horizontal piece of straw to bend and fit perpendicularly down that hole? He tried. Failed.Tried. Failed.
I held my breath. I almost reached down to help, then thought better of that idea. I might get stung!
Soon, three more ants came to his aid. Then a few others. The small stick became covered with insects, each lending their strength to the task. At last, enough of them tugged, lifted and dragged the straw into their nest.
I cheered. People stared. Shrugging, I continued my walk.
But I saw a God-lesson in it. If we don’t give up, if we keep trying our hardest, eventually we will be able to proclaim, as Paul says: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 Yet, Paul admitted he couldn’t do it alone. He had help from God, and from his followers.
There will be times we may have to accept help—just like that ant. If you are faced with a task and it is harder than you thought it might be, will you accept assistance, or stubbornly hiss between your teeth that you are bound and determine to do it yourself? I think sometimes God sends others to help us not only to benefit us, but them as well.
I wonder if the ants celebrated and patted each other on the back? Who knows? But, I bet like me, God cheered.