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A reflection on Proverbs 6

Updated on January 24, 2016
Ants fighting.
Ants fighting.

“Go to the ant you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise” Proverbs 6:6

We've probably all heard this verse many times before when we avoid responsibilities. When we know we should wash the dishes, go to work, and play with the kids but we're just too lazy to do it. This verse is a slap to the face for those who procrastinate. “Consider the ways of the ant and be wise” - What does that mean?

Go outside or to your local park. Look up videos online. Observe ant behavior. You can find many interesting things about these ants. Some species such as army ants seek food for their enormous colonies during migration with no permanent residence. The queen lays a thousand eggs to ensure the continuation of the colony. The ants seen by us are females that never reproduce but rather scavenge for food, care for the queen's offspring, work on the nest, protect the community, and do other duties. Male ants have only one role – to mate with the queen and die!

Ants communicate and cooperate with each other using chemicals that can alert them to danger or lead them to food. They can eat both smaller and larger animals such as small reptiles, birds, and mammals. Ants typically carry food back to their homes and can lift up three times their weight!

Basically worker ants' sole purpose is to work! They don't complain about the trials they have to face. They don't complain about it being too hard, too hot, or too cold. They don't procrastinate and say “I'll do it later..” because their survival depends on it! Their entire colony depends on their hard work!

It is no wonder that King Solomon gave this advice because it is useful for us to understand several things. The first is that laziness and procrastination brings us to ruin. The second is that we must be committed to hard work to reap the benefits. Just think about what would happen if our whole society stopped working because we felt too tired or lazy? It would chaotically fall apart! In the workplace, you must be effective and efficient. You must do things fast and do them right like a factory machine. Someone has to do the work so it might as well be you! Of course, you can choose to rest before work but what will it bring you? What will change? Nothing. On the other hand, hard work brings food on the table and profit. You have to sweat and put in alot of effort to gain plentiful rewards so work hard first then rest later!

It is truly amazing at how wise our heavenly father is. Rather than simply exclaim “go to work!” he explains why and how by giving a simple command “Go to the ant..learn from its ways and apply it to your life!”

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