When was the last time you stopped and watched some ants? I know, sounds kind of goofy, but I do have a 5 year old, and I remember being his age and being fascinated by ants. No matter what you could NOT deter these guys, you could put a stick in their mound, you could blow dirt off, and the majority of them just kept on doing what they were doing. A few would be ‘dispatched’ to deal with the issue at hand, but for the most part they were working away. Of course if you wanted to see some action you’d drop a corner of your PB&J down the mound, now THAT got them excited.

Otherwise, ants just seemed to do what ants did. Then I grew up, and I stopped watching ants. You know it’s hard to tell your wife as she’s balancing that 14th load of laundry on her head, “Hang on dear I just put some licorice on an ant mound and I want to see what they do.” So I stopped watching ants.

Now Charlie is in school and out on the playground, in the back, under the slide, where the teachers can’t see too well, what do you think the boys are doing? Yep, watching ants! So last weekend, while we were out running errands Charlie drew my attention to some ants he was watching, so I stopped to watch too. After all I feel it’s important for parents to know what their kids are watching, even if it is ants. But now at 40 something I noticed something else, and now I have a whole new reason to watch ants, and I’m hoping after this, that you will to.

I don’t know that Charlie will ever learn this in school so I’m going to post it here, in hopes that one day I’ll remember to teach it to him, and rather than being a forgetful ‘whatever +’ I can just refer back here! Se, from what I can tell ants seem to be split up into 4 different groups, 5 if you count the queen, but since there is only one of her she probably doesn’t count. Before you get to comfy this is NOT another way to retell my north, south, east an west idea, No instead this talks more about the ants, their jobs and how, if we were ding them, they might get a little easier just with this one little idea.

The first group of ants never quit! Now these are the little guys that I used to study when I was a kid. Not only could you poke a stick in the mound, but you could pour model glue on that stick and then set the stick on fire, and a certain number of ants would try and put the fire out, or move the stick (do ant fire engines have teeny tiny spotted dogs riding on them?). If they are going somewhere and you try and stop them, they will stop, take stock of what’s going on and then look for another way! (Lesson #1)

They will climb over, dig under or go around almost anything you put in there way. Now I say almost because I think even an Ant, if he were on his ay to get food, would stop what he was doing and attack a marshmallow that suddenly dropped from the sky. Why walk farther when foods right in front of you? But for the most part they have the idea that they will never quit looking for a way to get where they are supposed to go!

Then there is the second group, or platoon, who figures that it’s Winter all year round. Even if its 90 degrees outside and it hasn’t rained in weeks, they will keep working like it’s the dead of winter. Now the reason I love this idea is because it amazes me at how naive some people can be when thinking about the future. The fact is that most folks under 30 figures they will never get that much older anyway, so what’s the big deal? Personally I think that it’s awfully naive to think that summer (or spring for that matter) will never end! I mean really the Beach Boys were the last folks to go off in search of the endless summer and look what happened to THEM!

There’s a story in the Bible that alludes to the fact that you,”don’t build your house on the sand in the summer.”  Why is this so important? Because you Must look ahead, even in the summer you have to occasionally think “storm.” As sunny as it may be, It’s going to rain, and even though you are enjoying the sand, you must prepare for the rocks!

The third platoon, and no not all ants are Army Ants, it just makes it easier to relate, is that group of guys who think about the summer all the time, ever during the winter. I can hear it now, “But J what’s the deal, I thought that we needed to be thinking winter?” You do, but during the winter, when the winds are blowing and the snow is piling up outside, these little guys know deep in their hearts that, “This tool shall pass.” They know that all that preparation they did stocking up for the winter and making sure everything is set for the snow, that “This won’t last long, soon enough we will be back at the pool!”

Then the very first warm day, these guys are heading for the doors, surfboards in hand, ready to ride the wild Bikini, oops, wait, wrong metaphor. But you get the idea. As soon as the boss says it’s safe to head out they are there! There isn’t any waiting 30 minutes after meals, now rules that say hold this hear or wait for that there. They are out the door and at their next station! We need these guys, they are along to remind us that, as bad as it seems everything will work out in the end. Your just have to bear with it and make sure that we survive the winter and are prepared for the summer. After all heading to the beach in a parka is a tad embarrassing!

Finally there is the last group, the ones who developed the method for dealing with all this chaos in the first place. These are the guys who send OUT everyone else all during the summer, the spring and even just before the show falls. What’s so important about them you ask? Why this group is in charge of telling the other 3 groups how MUCH to bring back each day! As a leader of course they only have one response to that:” As Much as you CAN”, day in ad day out as long as you are leaving the nest you may as well me its worth while. If you’re coming back empty handed DON’T come back!” make sure you come back, loaded for bear! Or Ant as the case may be!

See, this is why I think it’s so important, every now and then to stop and look at the ants. Our Creator placed lessons around us in every single direction, it’s just up to US to determine which way it is, what it does and what the lesson actually is that we are being taught! Also, understand this will give you a GREAT way to start up conversions with your kids. Depending on their age you can either use it to your advantage and teach them some GREAT lessons, or just use it as a chance to take a breather from work, and does something fun, just for a little while!

Let’s hear YOUR Ant stories, or Frogs, Turtles are good!

Or just pick an excuse, ANY excuse, and live with it!