Working like an ant. Resting like a wise man.

by Tim Doherty

Ant carrying leaf

Walking back from the post office this morning I saw an ant toiling under a load that had to be at least 20 times its own weight. The little guy was carrying a moth wing down the sidewalk and I could see he was on a mission to transport his catch back to the community cache. Girls – come here! I ran into the house to call everybody out to see. This was a teaching moment not to be missed.

Amazing. I thought, Dude, you know how to work hard. 

“Think about the ant” said the Proverb writer.

[T]hink about the ant!
Consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander.
It has no leader or ruler.
But it stores up its food in summer.
It gathers its food at harvest time.
(Proverbs 6:6-8)

Two questions for you on these potentially lazy, listless days of summer:

  • Do you work at your work knowing that it really really matters that you work diligently and with integrity? – And not only when you care that it matters, want it to matter, but also when you don’t want to care? (If we’re honest we feel both ways about work.)
  • And second, when it’s time for rest, do you turn your brain on and not off in order to consider how wisely you are working?

Work, rest, work, rest. This is wisdom. To do what we have understood needs to be done, and then resting – putting your feet up thankful and preparing for work again to the glory of our Creator and Sustainer. It’s the order and rhythm of things that’s just wired into all of creation.

It’s how things work.

So work on friend. And may your summer rest make you wise.