Monday, November 19, 2007

I ant kidding...

Note: After writing this blog, I headed to bed. As I turned on the hall bathroom light, I saw an I-90 full of little ants. The picture is evidence of that. How ironic, huh? Needless to say, I doomed 'em. In the morning, I-90 looked like an earthquake zone on the floor. Welcome to Zambia!

I have been doing a lot of inductive bible study sessions here in Zambia and pastors seem to be really enjoying it. Part of inductive Bible study is do three steps: Observation, interpretation and Application. The observation part is really important to the whole process. It is slowing down long enough to really notice every word, and make statements about the verses. It is not reading into it or bringing prior opinions or thoughts into scripture, but letting scripture speak for itself. I say that because observation is key to really just about anything. Like, take ants for example. We see them all over our house. In fact, let me just see if I can't see at least one ant right by my computer. There is a fly, a weird looking bug and hah, I just saw one. Anyway, there are two Bible verses about ants... Here is the first one;
Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
Proverbs 30:25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;

So according to Solomon, ants are hard working, team-oriented and wise. Well, in my research this past three months, I would have to agree with Solomon. For example, on my screen window, I have observed ants carrying a dead fly up the screen window, four or five carefully lifting up this dead ant on the inside of the screen trying to get it outside, and you know what, they did it. The flies are gone. There is a small hole. Maybe they got it out of there. Amazing. They must have dropped that fly a million times, but they never gave up. The ants are team oriented. Have you ever seen a dead cockroach surrounded in little ants? We have. A few times, actually. They surround this poor cockroach trapped on his back and they are relentless, working together to get this cockroach to its home, I guess. They can smell, find, communicate and be on a piece of dogfood faster than my kids can spell it. We have wanted to videotape it to just see how fast it takes them. But, thankfully, we have better things to do.

They are everywhere. Tonight, my wife burrowd her head into my shoulder and said, "We have to get this house sprayed. The ants are everywhere." Well, they are not everywhere, but I have a new respect for this persistent little critter. If you watch them long enough in your bathroom or in the kitchen or outside on the flower beds or on the wall or on the floor or the patio or really anywhere, you see order, persistance and communication. It is amazing. From about two feet away in this huge expanse of space, two ants will run full blast head into each other. I thought that was hilarious when I first saw it, but they are communcating something. They head butt information or whatever, connecting with each other. I know I may sound crazy over here with my ant thoughts, but Solomon and I, we think alike. And we know things. I just saw this article and it was really good. It is about ants. You should check it out here! It goes further into depth about ants and how they are truly amazing creatures. The title is called, "An Anthill on which to Die: What a colony of insects could teach us about the church." I agree with his assessment, since I am now an expert on the observation of ants. The things you learn in Zambia. Go figure!


aaron j gibbs said...

im glad you have better things to do.... but now you have peeked my curiosity... :) im glad im not the only one that is fascinated with the simple things in life. i think i foresee an ant sermon a looming.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved ants. I hate almaost all other bugs, but I love ants. They don't seem to have any interest in bothering you like other bugs. They are much to busy with whatever job they are involved in to worry about us. They are just hard little workers. I heard this quote one time. "An ant can carry over fifty times its body weight... which is pretty handy if you need to move a potato chip across the room."