5/30/21 - Consider the Ants

When I was a young girl, my brother had an ant farm which was basically sand between two sheets of clear plastic so we could watch the ants build their home & see their eggs hatch, etc.  It was fun to watch the whole process develop as they were diligent, productive and resourceful.

Last spring, we decided it was time to do some maintenance work on our sand-packed brick patio.  We pressure washed it to remove moss that had built up as well as much of the old sand between the bricks.   We then began determining which bricks needed to be replaced prior to sweeping in new sand over the entire patio surface to refill the gaps between the bricks. 

As you might imagine, lifting out bricks revealed ants scurrying for safety from the giant humans who were uncovering their dwellings.  At one point, I lifted a brick only to discover an ant nursery.  I watched in awe of these tiny creatures as it looked like the whole colony was rushing to move their precious, unhatched eggs out of harm’s way.  They knew they were supposed to protect their unborn babies, and it never even occurred to them to abandon their eggs in order to save themselves.  They worked as a unified team with a single purpose, and it was amazing to watch!

The Bible considers ants, one of the most tiny creatures observable by the human eye, to be productive, determined and wise.  “Go to the ant, O sluggard.  Observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-7 and “Four things are small on the earth but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong folk but they prepare their food in the summer” Proverbs 30:24-25. 

As I watched these tiny creatures assume the care for their unborn, I thought of how depraved humanity really is, that so many embrace the ideology of ‘a woman’s right: my body, my choice’ and believe that an unborn child is just a ‘fetus’, a bunch of cells that presents an ‘unnecessary burden’ to some women.  The ants seem to know instinctively that they are supposed to protect their unborn, that just because it’s still inside an egg doesn’t mean that a new generation of ant isn’t in that precious egg!  They know it is already an ant to be hatched and not just a bunch of developing cells.  In fact, every creature seems to know this but it is mankind who has decided to play God and determine the worth of our unborn – how shameful!

Of course, we did have to carry on with our project but I didn’t replace that particular brick that had covered the ant nursery right away; I let them carry on the task of transporting their eggs to another location under a different brick before I placed a new brick there.   We eventually finished replacing the chipped and cracked bricks and then slowly swept new sand back and forth over the entire patio to refill the gaps.   As the new sand settled into the crevices, and we added more sand for several days as it continued to settle, little holes or pockets could be seen popping through the sand with ants looking for new property to develop with a safe nursery to train up their young. 

They are persistent little things and often an irritant but my, how wise and diligent – well worth observing and considering their ways.