The Way of the Ant

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“Go to the ant…consider its ways and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6 NIV)

Not too long ago, I read over some old journal entries. One of them was from a few years back. I wrote it after spending time outdoors with my son. That day, we had worked on homeschool lessons while enjoying a pleasant and sunny afternoon. We took a break and ate banana-nut bread.

Joshua dropped a small piece of bread on the ground. Not long after he dropped it, he pointed to the line of ants around the bread. Each ant crawled over the bread and left with a tiny crumb. The ants continued to get pieces of the bread, carrying them away their ant hill, and repeating the process all over again. There was one line going to the bread and one line going away from the bread. Back and forth they went. Until, finally, the bread was gone.

Joshua and I had amused ourselves as we watched those ants working slowly and methodically.

Thinking about those ants reminded me of the many times when I have been forced to schedule my day in sections. Sometimes in hours, others in minutes. Like the ant, I move painstakingly slow, often wondering if I will be able to cross at least one thing off my “to do” list. Even though my rheumatologist had already warned me about the hazards of my “Type A” personality, I still had trouble breaking the habit of organizing my days, setting goals, and working hard (stressing) to get each thing done.

I have to constantly remind myself that God remains faithful. He has given each one of us everything we need to make it through each day, each task, and each challenge – even when we have to make it five minutes at a time.

There are still times when I have to break my day down into increments of activity and rest. The moment I open my eyes, I know whether or not I will have to fight to get things done, or whether my day is going to be easier to manage. On those fighting days, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed if I think past my morning shower! I’ve learned that as long as I focus on one thing at a time, and then stop to rest, I can accomplish so much more! At the end of the day, I become excited when I realize all the things I got done – those very things that I feared would be left undone.

So no matter what challenge you may face today, look to God to be your strength. He will give you the wisdom you need to make it through. Don’t beat yourself up over the things you can’t get done, celebrate the things that you can accomplish.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the example of the ant. Help us to break our tasks into manageable pieces. Help us to organize our day and maximize the times when we have the most energy. Help us to understand that we really can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Amen.

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