Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm.
I enjoy nature now days after experiencing “many” tragedies in my life and sometimes relating the word of God to it which has been my comfort.
A few days as I was sited near an old post I noticed ants and wondered how they work tirelessly and I admired them and I remembered once upon a time hard work was part of life, one of the pleasure and satisfaction of living. But nowadays hard labour seems to be tiresome, a punishment, an unnecessary evil. A century ago people created beautiful gardens, build their own homes, made their own furniture and sew their own clothes. There were no garbage dumps because people used all their leftover – meat fat became cooking fat, cow dung and left over foods became fertilizers and most iron tools around the farm were made from other discarded tools. People just loved working hard. But in modern times we are living in necessities of life are presented to us already made, the only part left for us to play is to buy it. Long time ago money was virtually unknown instead man knew the source of the ingredients and result of his everyday life which gave him pride, satisfaction and a sense of security in his handiwork.
In the book of proverbs, we are told to follow the ants (Proverbs 6:6-8) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon was the wisest king and it is interesting to find out why such a wise king asked us to look at the ants. It is also interesting at first to know that the bible on Proverbs 30:24-25 actually says that the ants “are small” and have “little strength”.
However, they are exceedingly/extremely wise! why? because they “prepare their food in the summer”.
Let’s look at the lessons we can learn from the Ants
Initiative -The ants prepares and gathers. They are actively seeking for the food. They go out from their nests, their “comfort zone”. How about you? Are you always on your comfort zone, too lazy or too scared to go out, perhaps? Proverbs 22:13 – The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” Are you like that? Too scared to even try something that you haven’t done before? Take the initiative like the ants. There are dangers waiting for them outside their nests, but they still go for the goal. As a Christian, remember that you always have God. Sometimes we are wondering on the valley of darkness, but know that God is always there with you (Psalm 23:4).
Focus - Focusing on the goal is very important! The ants focus on one thing: to prepare and gather the food for the winter season. Resist the temptation to feel guilty if an unforeseen situation arises making it impossible for me to complete all my tasks in one day. Continue to persevere the next day, again giving top priority to the five most important tasks."Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised" (Hebrews 10:35–36). Recognize any negative self-talk when emotionally stuck and change any thoughts and internal dialogue to reflect God's truth about us and to please God."May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). How focused are you at the moment in doing your responsibility? Don’t look at others (the ants don’t look at other ants when they work) and certainly don’t compare yourself with others! Find out what makes you lose your focus at this moment. A person? A hobby? A behavior? A thing? Run from it just like Joseph who ran from Potiphar’s wife! Sometimes we thought that we could fight it, but most of the time, we just couldn’t! Simply run from it helps you to focus!
Persistence -The ants are persistent! They just never gave up! No matter terrain they are going through, they’ll just keep on carrying the food without ever giving up! How about you? Do you give up easily? Stressed out when bad things happen? Learn from the ants and never give up trying! God always want you to learn when you fail. Keep your hope and keep praying to Him! Claim God's promise to provide everything you need through your dependence on Christ."His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (2 Peter 1:3–4).
Motivation - Proverbs 6:7: “It has no commander, overseer, or ruler” Yield your life to Christ, giving Him total control.” I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). What is your motivation in studying, working or serving God? Do we do what we do because someone told us to do it or because someone keeps on checking on us? Is it your boss in your workplace? Is it your lecture/tutorial attendance form, or maybe your pastor/leaders at church? This reminds me of Collosians 3:23 whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people! The right motivation comes from inside, not from the outside. It doesn’t depend on your situation or whom you are working/serving with. The ants motivation doesn’t come from the Queen (the Queen is there to breed, not to lead the ants). How about your motivation? The purest motivation is always to glorify and please God!
Plan ahead- Proverbs 6: 8-9; “it prepares its food in the summer; it gathers at the harvest what it will eat” The ants always plan ahead. They gather the food preparing for the winter. They work hard during the summer where food supplies are abundant and enjoying them during the winter season, when food supplies are scarce. Do you know your “summer” and when is your “winter” season? Do you know when to work/study hard and when you need to rest? Have you planned for the future? Have you done your best in whatever you are doing at the moment? To study hard to get a job in the future; to work hard for your savings; to serve God wholeheartedly for your “heavenly investment? Tell God honestly that I am tired of fighting the clock and pray for wisdom and help in using the time He has given me."There is a proper time and procedure for every matter ..." (Ecclesiastes 8:6). Keep a record at all times, tracking everything I need to do in a planner and checking off each task according to the exact day and time I do it."... there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed" (Ecclesiastes 3:17).
May be you are grieving a loved one, may be you have lost your job, you are in financial crisis or your marriage is in a mess. God can always make something good out of it. You’ll learn something that you would never have thought before without realizing it!
Teamwork -When an ant can’t carry a large chunk of food, the others help. "The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice" (Proverbs 12:15). But be aware of idle chatters like any other addiction the more you enjoy idle chatter, the more you become dependent on it. You will feel a void if you’re deprived of it suddenly. Sometimes when grieving, depressed you might feel very lonely; you might be tempted to talk with random friends you run into, instead of just quietly engaging God and asking Him to take you step by step in your grieving period. Don’t waste your pain because God has trusted you with it. Use your time to build things that last!
Comforting thought for the week
I pray you may realize the damage and the true character of a slothful person; those who just don’t want you to live your life but they ever want you to settle in your valley permanently. Cut all association with them. Don’t trust them with anything, even if you feel lonely at working by yourself. Otherwise you will get hurt, you will be meddled, you will be gossiped against, and you will be disappointed, and you will take ages to heal and that’s not Gods will for you.