Sitting on my deck with the ceiling fan twirling the fresh air from the Lord watering my plants and lawn I noticed some weird-looking bug stumbling toward me. Or what I thought was a weird-looking bug.
On closer inspection I realized it was an ant and what was so fascinating was that it had a large dead bug that was three or four times larger than the ant in its mouth. It stumbled toward me and as the wind from the ceiling fan hit it, it would stumble, fall over, get up and try again. It didn’t look like the bug it was carrying was really heavy (from a giant’s perspective) but I’m sure because of the size of the bug and the size of the ant it could not see where it was going. There had to be some destination in the ant’s mind.
As I watched the ant it circled around and headed back in the direction it came, stumbled over a small object lying in its path and made a U-turn. Back in my direction it came when it finally made more progress only to bump into the chair leg that I had as a footstool in front of me.
Back around it went. First in one direction and then in another only to end up back in the same place once again. What struck me, as I sat there watching intently the progress, the loss of progress, the stumbling, circling, and determination, was just that; the determination that ant had! No matter what obstacles it encountered, no matter the wind that blew it off course, no matter the weight or size of what it was carrying or what it bumped into it was getting that bug to its destination!
As I sat transfixed on the incredible fortitude of this ant I couldn’t help but think we are much like this brave little ant. So many of us have the weight of the world on our backs or think its the weight of the world. Anyway, we have baggage we carry and many times its much bigger and much heavier than we can carry efficiently.
Like the ant with his bug we stumble around, when the wind (storm) comes we fall, get up and head right back into the same old patterns we had previously. Watching the ant I noticed there were no other ants around. One lone little ant trying very hard to carry what should have been shared with others to make the task much easier.
Mama ant was probably wringing her hands and wondering, “Where is that kid!? I gave him a simple task and what’s taking him so long to get it done?” While, and I don’t know this, the little ant with his mouth full of baggage might have been thinking, “I gotta do this! I have to prove I’m ‘the man!‘”
How many fathers are carrying the weight of three jobs or the determination to climb that corporate ladder regardless of what object or obstructions are in his way while his kids are out foraging for the love, attention, and validation they are not getting at home through gangs, drugs, prostitution, or homelessness?
Many of us are like the little ant I sat watching as it struggled with its load. We hold onto our troubles for maybe all the wrong reasons. Maybe the ant thought he would be deemed weak within the family of ants. Maybe he had been called a weakling as a young ant and wanted to prove himself as strong and dependable. Instead of laying down the load and reaching out for help the little ant was so determined to do it himself.
Aren’t we like that in some ways? We have this heavy load we are carrying and rather than yelling out to Jesus to take the load, we’re determined to prove we can “do it ourselves!” We stumble, we go in circles, we wear ourselves out and like the little ant that I watched for ten or fifteen minutes we finally blindly wander around pointlessly and without direction.
What happened to the little ant you ask? I’m glad you asked. It continued to carry its load stumbling and falling, going in circles and crashing into unseen obstructions and through sheer determination it made it to the edge of the deck and suddenly fell out of sight………still carrying its load.
Blessings to you.