A recent Fall afternoon found me tramping through a state park in southern Ohio. This particular park had a nature trail through an area that was a prairie ecosystem. I, for one, thought prairies were only found in the Mississippi Valley and in Laura Ingalls Wilder books, so I was curious to have a look at an Ohio prairie. Before embarking on the hike, I read an interesting warning sign. It read, "Do not stand too close to the anthills." It continued in small print to explain that the ants that constructed these anthills had "biting mouth parts" and could "secrete an acidic substance." This was more than enough warning for me to be on guard against inadvertantly trampling on an anthill full of biting, acid-filled pests. After a nice stroll through the forest, just as advertised, I walked into a wide, open, grassy prairie. It wasn't long until I spied my first anthill. It was huge! It was about six or seven feet in circumference and was at least three feet tall. After I learned what to look for I could see that the entire grassy area was populated with hundreds of anthills. I was fascinated by the seemingly insignificant creatures that could construct such large mounds. In spite of my natural fear of biting mouth parts and acidic substances, I decided to see one of these ants up close. Before long I could see several crawling through the grass. There was nothing extraordinary about their appearance. They were more red than most ants I had seen and their mouth parts did not seem particularly menacing. What was most amazing about these tiny creatures was that in order to move all the dirt from underground to raise such a large anthill, they would have to carry a single particle of dirt at a time. The anthills were a testimony of countless dirt-moving trips from underground to the top of the anthill by thousands of ants. Isn't it amazing what can be accomplished when workers can work together for a common purpose?
Ants, of course, are mentioned in the Bible (see Proverbs 30:25, 6:6) and praised for their willingness to work to provide for the colony. Could not this little creature teach us something about what we together can accomplish for our Lord? We who have been given dominion over the whole of creation and redeemed by the blood of His Son should strive to work together to finish our mission. Our mission is to make disciples of all nations. So, allow me to ask you this question: what are you doing for the cause of making disciples? Every Christian should have a ready answer or else we have not learned the lesson of the ant. We have fallen into a restful ease and the work remains undone. There is work to be done, there are souls to be reached and it will take all of us to finish our mission.
Pastor of Adult Ministries
©1999 Bible Center Church
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