When my now 25 year old grandson was about three, he created his first book. He loved listening to his grandpa talk about nature and would often search under rocks to observe the insects. Because he started learning about the value of life, even at that young age, when I actually stepped on an ant he was devastated. I had killed a living thing. This young man is now teaching English in South Korea. We’re very proud of him and his journey as we are with all of our grandkids, but this ant adventure got me thinking about how we really do need to enjoy all of God’s creation, even the tiniest of them.
I love digging in the dirt. I think it started when I was a little girl making mud pies. I’d form the dirt into little cakes, place them on a china plate and cover them with sprinkles. The dog enjoyed the topping, but it stopped there. As my years went by, I took a vacation from making mud pies, but when our children grew I took to the dirt again. I terraced an entire hill over the course of 24 years and planted an assortment of perennials so the grass would never have to be cut again from that steep incline. I often became one with the dirt as I traversed across the expanse. My neighbors watched, hoping I might tumble down and provide some entertainment. I unwillingly obliged a few times.
As I was pulling some nasty little weeds, I happened to observe a tiny ant trying to move a leaf almost three times its size. It amazes me how God provides strength and determination to the very smallest of His creation. The ant struggled and finally picked up speed until he came to an obstacle, which was a tough one for him to overcome. He pushed and came at the road block with fervor but lack of strength. In the meantime, another ant saw an opportunity and sped over to steal the leaf. The two appeared to take each other on, but the conflict lasted only a couple seconds. Suddenly the two of them were behind the leaf, side by side, pushing it over the bump and on to its destination.
I wondered what they said to one another and how quickly they resolved their problem. I learned some valuable lessons from those little creatures. They not only communicate with each other, but they know how to solve problems without killing each other. They instead chose to work together for the good of both of them. Their work ethic is also amazing. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be more like those little insects?
My grandson no longer considers me a murderer, but he did have a good point. Everything under heaven has been created by God for a purpose. Even the tough obstacles we face each day. If God takes care of the smallest of His creatures, how much more can he do through us? When we help others or they are of help to us, we’ve got the perfect partnership, especially when God is the CEO.
“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? A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11