May 20, 2020
A Lesson from the Insects
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” – Proverbs 6:6
"The ants come marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!” goes the old ditty. Not at our house, they don’t. They come pouring in vast droves, like the ancient Vandals getting ready to sack Rome. They seem to have secret passages which we have no idea how to locate. They have ways of reaching cupboards and getting into food packages that you and I might think were impenetrable. Spray as you will, crush as many as you can, their brothers, sisters, cousins, and other assorted relatives simply take their place.
What about the spiders? “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces” (Proverbs 30:28). The writer of Proverbs knew that it is the female spider that spins webs, and the words “is in kings’ palaces” apparently mean that you cannot keep her out of any place she wants to be. We are told that a spider never gives up. In order to keep one from starting over again on a web which you have pulled down, you have to destroy her.
Of course, these insects are programmed from birth to accomplish what they do. There is no option for them, no other way. They have no free will. We do.
Having a free will means that we can choose to give up on a project. Giving up can be easy to do when we do not succeed at our first or second attempt at something. Frustration sets in, then discouragement. We can start feeling like our efforts are being wasted and that there is no use in trying again. But do you remember how many light bulbs Thomas Edison experimented with before he found the proper material for the filament? Thousands! It is said that he never questioned whether something could be done, only how. He used his free will to press on, and it paid off in the end.
Let us truly consider the ways of God’s creatures, and be wise as we serve the Creator of all. Their diligence reminds us that progress may be slow, but it will happen if we do not give up. With God on our side, we can do everything He has called us to do. We certainly do not want to do less.