Have you ever watched ants?
When I was a kid, I used to like to pick at the ant mounds and watch as the little army scurried around trying to put it back together.
There were so many of them! And they worked so quickly! It was almost as though it were one organism moving together.
I would look closely and try to keep my eyes glued on one single ant. I wanted to imagine the whole scenario from the perspective of an individual ant.
One single ant actually moves pretty slowly. His legs and antennae wiggle about rapidly, but generally, he goes about his job at a steady pace, stopping to chat with a fellow worker now and then, and continuing on with his path.
I always expected to see them picking up the pieces of the mound and putting it back together, and though the mound would eventually be rebuilt, watching one ant sure never looked like it would. It always seemed like that one little ant was just darting about touching antennae with other ants, and meandering back again, never doing anything productive.
Sometimes I feel like one of those ants, constantly busy, but never really accomplishing anything. I rush around, one small part of a large picture of other humans rushing around. Overall, we’re doing something good, but all I can see is life from my perspective, and it looks pretty small.
What is my purpose?
If I am nothing more than a busy and distractible ant, then, what is an ant’s purpose?
The Bible says that all of creation displays God’s nature and his power.
Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1
Ants can teach us about the glory of God.
See, when I was little, I also used to think about how I was so powerful and large compared to those ants. I could destroy their home with the toe of my tennis shoe. I could pour water on their anthill. I could drop a cookie or candy down for them to feast on. And those little ants, they couldn’t even fathom who I was or what I was doing. They might feel the effects of my presence, but they could never know my life, my family, my plans or my thoughts.
As a child, I thought, that’s like humans with God. We see the effects of His hand in our lives, but we can’t even fathom His plans and his thoughts.
Now I know that we CAN know God. Because of Jesus, we are able to have a relationship with the Creator. We can talk to him in prayer, we can read his word, and we can understand his character through his creation!
The Bible uses ants as a lesson for being industrious and wise.
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)
I try to be industrious and wise, but some days I feel like just a tiny ant, scurrying and striving and accomplishing nothing more than a tiny ant hill–only a part of the ant hill!
But God made all things, even me. I am a part of His creation, and He placed me in this world for a purpose. And you, too!
Our purpose is not the ant hill.
My purpose is not my children, nor my marriage.
My purpose is not a ministry.
It’s not this blog.
It’s not my home.
It’s not family.
It’s not a business
Nor anything else that I try to do well.
My purpose is the same as all Creation:
to bring glory to God.
Can that happen through those things? Certainly, just like the ant hill. If the ants stopped working on the ant hill, they wouldn’t be bringing glory to God in their way.
But let us never forget, that the ant hills of our lives are not our purpose.
We don’t need to discover God’s will for our lives. His will, and our purpose, is to glorify him and to have a relationship with him.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38