A Conversation With An Ant

This morning I was out beside my little garden enjoying another beautiful summer day while reading my favourite Book when I noticed an ant briskly making his way along the wooden border of the raised bed. He was carrying a morsel I couldn’t identify—something twice as large as himself—but even so was making good time as he headed toward an ant hill I’ve seen growing near my house.

I paused from my reading and, Bible in hand, knelt down and greeted my busy neighbour with a cheery, “Good morning.”

That stopped him; he turned toward me, antennae working back and forth to determine, I suppose, whether I were friend or foe. “Good morning to you as well,” he said politely if rather warily.

(I ask my readers to keep to yourselves, please, that I was conversing with an ant; if this gets in the wrongs ears… unless you want to share it with some little child; they have no problem with these things.)

I tilted my head back for a closer look at the ant through the lower lens of my bifocals. “That’s quite the load you’re carrying,” I ventured.

It was obvious he wasn’t inclined to idle long, for he said hurriedly, “Yes, but do you feel that touch in the air this morning? The summer’s going fast. We’ve got to bring in much more yet.”

“Ah, yes,” I said. “I’ve read about you in the Bible.”

“The Bible?” he queried.

“It’s a book that tells us humans about God’s eternal purposes in man—more specifically in a Man named Jesus Christ. Actually it’s the second Bible God gave us. You—and the rest of the natural creation—are the first.”

“Really?” the ant said, laying his burden aside now. “I am a Bible?”

“Yes,” I said. “The whole creation is. In our Bible in Proverbs—those are sayings a very wise man wrote long ago—it talks of four things in the creation that are little but are exceedingly wise. It lists you first. It says—here, let me read it.” I leafed through the pages of my Bible till I found the passage in Proverbs Chapter 30.

“‘The ants are a people…’”

“I like your Bible,” he broke in cheerily. “A people. Yes. Everything we do, we do not for ourselves but for the good of all of us.”

I looked up awestruck. So little a creature with so large a thought. Let me ever be small enough to be the student of an ant.

After a moment I continued reading, “‘The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in summer.’”

His cheerful face turned suddenly solemn. “Indeed we do,” he said. “We know what’s coming.”

“Tell me,” I said, now leaning down on my elbows to get right close to him.

“You don’t know?” he asked, leaning toward me too. “There’s coming a time of great cold. And great, great desolation. We ants, we know we can’t survive that kind of thing; we’re not very strong. So we take advantage of the warm summer days to prepare for it. Look at all the food around us… now.”

I nodded. “I see that you are wise indeed. And now that I think of it, the wise man who wrote those proverbs mentioned something else about you in another place. Let me see if I can find it.” I leafed through the pages till I found the place. “Ah, here it is. Proverbs Chapter 6 verse 6. ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard: consider her ways, and be wise: which have no guide, nor overseer, nor ruler, provideth her meat in summer, and gathereth her food in harvest.’ So you are not only wise, but industrious—and that without some boss or leader telling you what to do, which in itself is more than amazing.”

“To God be the glory,” he responded, “it seems my leader is built right into me.” And with that he gripped his load and was off again. “Good-bye,” I called with a little wave, and at that he called back, “Good-bye. Have a nice summer… what’s left of it.”

A little distance away he looked back over his shoulder. “And a nice winter too.”

I watched him hasten away till I could see him no longer. Was there a note of foreboding in his last words? Is the abundant spiritual summer we’ve enjoyed in our land for so long about run out? Am I in my weakness—and wisdom—and diligence—securing a Source of spiritual provision and strength for the desolate days ahead?

Or am I the proverbial grasshopper in the ancient fable who fiddled away the glorious summer days while the ant prepared for what was coming?

9 responses »

  1. Very refreshing, enjoyable and potent post. But really, you should try to get out more. LOL!
    In all seriousness though our merciful High Priest is in this day using countless & ‘divers’ ways of telling His people to get ready for what is coming. But the truth is that ‘what is coming’ is here now and is going to get to a point of darkness that the world has never experienced before.
    But God would remind us:
    “But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night, and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us unto wrath,but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
    1TH: 4-11

    Here is a word that God quickened to us in one of our recent meetings, one of many words of faith that He is giving us for the time of testing that is upon us:
    “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
    John 8:12

    God Bless you & all your family!!

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    • Thanks, Terry, for the counsel; either I get out more, or keep such conversations for the ears of little children from now on!

      And thanks, those passages of scripture you quoted are vital. Great darkness is gathering, indeed, is already here. Yet great light is at hand as well; let us begin to walk in it! A rather cryptic passage in Isaiah comes to mind. “He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, “The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come” (Isa. 21:11,12). So… darkness, and light, breaking forth at the same time! Wonderful hope for some; thick darkness for others. It is the great– and terrible– day of the Lord. So let us humble ourselves to sit at the feet of the ant, and lay to heart his lesson: this present season will soon be gone; don’t waste what’s left of it! Prepare for what is ahead!

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    • It appears that this blog entry in which the little ant has sounded his warning has inspired others with thoughts of light in darkness. A further comment from Susan Conroy: “This verse came to mind: The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

      As I read this familiar verse, the emphasis fell on the word, “entrance.” It is opening the heart and giving entrance to the word of God that gives light, when it might be easy enough to read what an ant has to say, and move on. Thanks, Susan.

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  2. Not sure my comment “Awesome, Allan!” registered (was asked to reset password) so I’ll just repeat and underline it here 😉

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    • Thanks, Susanna! (Where did you make the “awesome, Allan” comment?)

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      • A Conversation With An Ant was also published on Facebook, where several commented. Here is one comment by Thomas Rowlands in the UK. It appeared on Robert Wurtz II’s Facebook page. It’s rather lengthy, but I thought I’d post the whole comment for the interest of others. (I responded on Facebook to Thomas, explaining that I am in Canada, where the darkness is gathering as thickly as in the nations he refers to.)

        Terry Conroy, you’ll be interested in the emphasis of the last two paragraphs:

        I was thinking something along these lines just this morning and I really relate to this not just for you guys in the US but also for us here in the UK.

        I’ve long believed that we here in the UK, where the mother of Parliaments exists and the cradle of modern democracy started and all the hard won freedoms that allowed the Gospel to be preached freely were established, could well be the first ‘First World’ (in the economic sense) country to lose all these precious rights and even the democracy we take for granted. I also think that the US won’t be far behind – you have a few more enshrined constitutional protections than we do but I don’t think that they will prove enough to prevent the onslaught that I fear is almost at the door.

        I’ve wondered about this for some years but so many of the pieces that would make this possible are already in place and Christians seem to not be noticing – Tozer must be turning in his grave at the blindness to the obvious in both our nations.

        About 30 or so years ago the big thing was the belief that the EU was in some way a great Roman Catholic conspiracy to drag the UK back into the bondage of Rome. How wrong they were! At least they were wrong about it being the EU that was the vehicle for the re-introduction of Papist control in the UK (and other EU countries) but they were right about there being strong moves to bring back Roman domination.

        Today we have ultra right wing ultra Catholics like Rees-Mogg and Steve Bannon linking up with other ultra right wing Catholic populist politicians in the UK, the US and the EU to bring down the EU and democracy itself under the guise of giving power to the people when no such thing is intended. Take a look at Poland, Italy and Hungary where the Ultras are very much in ascendancy and the fact that what stands in their way to establishing hard right undemocratic states is (oh the irony) the EU.

        Here in the UK the Government is introducing legislation for ‘Henry VIII’ clauses to be widely implemented as a necessity to deal with the massive amount of new legislation that has to be created as a consequence of leaving the EU.

        It’s difficult to overstate (actually it’s impossible) the danger these clauses present to our democracy. In essence they allow a Government Minister on his / her signature alone and without any scrutiny by Parliament to write new laws, re-write existing laws and even overturn completely existing laws (why they are called Henry VIII clauses). Some attempts to hedge these powers with some form of checks against abuse are being made but they are unlikely to be enough if we have a Prime Minister and cabinet who, for whatever reason, decide that their agenda justifies using these incredibly wide powers to force their worldview onto the nation.

        Robespierre – the instigator of the ‘Reign of Terror’ in the French Revolution – started out as a man of high principle intent on doing good but, as the old saying goes, ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Henry VIII powers, if abused, are a vehicle for absolute power and it doesn’t need much imagination to see that if our Brexit produces chaos (and there is good reason to think it could) and emergency measures are need nationwide that these Henry VIII powers will be used in a manner unintended and not relinquished when the crisis is over.

        In the US there are similar worries for your democracy though the threat is from a different cause – how many extreme ALT-Right armed to the teeth would it take to subjugate a people if the military were told not to intervene? 90% of the guns and ammo in the US are held by the Alt-Right and Donald doesn’t like democracy (he’s said as much and his love of despots also proves) because it doesn’t allow him to do what he wants most of the time.

        From the Christian perspective, this article by Halton is timely because the freedoms to preach the Gospel we, on both sides of the Pond, take for granted is going to come to an end – that is clear whatever the cause.

        Darkness does not push out darkness to produce light. Only the Light can dispel darkness. I see here in the UK godless men pushing for restrictions on the spread of Islam and whilst I don’t like the spread of Islam, it’s dilution by the actions of godless men will not bring light but just another form of darkness.

        Although these are worrying times we have the knowledge that Jesus is over all but He does allow difficult things to happen and so we need to be aware that indeed – as Halton says “Is the abundant spiritual summer we’ve enjoyed in our land for so long about run out? Am I in my weakness—and wisdom—and diligence—securing a Source of spiritual provision and strength for the desolate days ahead?”

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        • Allan,
          I would like to help you answer your question and the question that many have or should have in this hour, “Am I in my weakness-and wisdom-and diligence-securing a source of spiritual provision and strength for the desolate days ahead?”

          The answer is yes, IF when we’re reading our favorite book (The Bible) we are mixing the word with faith. It is yes if we’ve come to understand that “of myself I can do nothing.” It is yes if we abide in Him, and He in us. It is yes if we seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, if we set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth.
          As for the darkness that is coming God has already showed us with “a more sure word of prophecy” what is quickly coming our way. It’s in the Bible from beginning to end.

          But in this short response I would like to direct all to the book of Esther. Other than ‘Revelation’ I don’t think there is a more precise ‘End Time’ book than the book of Esther.

          If you want to read about the fullness of corrupt antichrist political power it’s in the Book of Esther. If you want to read about the fullness of deliverance and the overcoming of the Church over the power of darkness, it’s in the Book of Esther.

          I would exhort all to read and read and read again the book of Esther. Read it for what it is, an ‘end time book’, and mix the word with faith and be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ… HE IS FAITHFUL…
          AND WE WILL receive a worthy portion of spiritual provision and strength for the desolate days ahead.

          And finally…
          “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but BE OF GOOD CHEER; I have overcome the world.”
          John 16:33

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