A little creature can give us a big lesson! Proverbs 6:6 admonishes: “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise.” Here we are reminded that God has much to teach us from observing His creation. What is it that we are specifically to learn from the ant? The next verses give us two lessons:
Verse 8 says the ant “Prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” Here is the principle of responsibility; of doing what needs to be done in its proper time. If you are going to eat during the winter, you had better be out working during the summer, preparing and gathering your food. The ant, the scripture says, does this. Wise people do as well. And this applies to more than just agriculture! A wise person is responsible, knowing that there are strategic times when a task needs to be done, or it will be too late.
And significantly, Verse 7 adds to that the introductory phrase: “Which, having no chief, officer or ruler …”. The ant does all that, the Proverb says, without coercion. Here we find the principle of self-motivation. Don’t merely do things when there is someone to “make” you do it. Be responsible. Take the initiative! This applies to work, school, spiritual disciplines, kingdom service — to a myriad of life applications. Do you only do things when someone is there to “make” you do them? If so, your prospects in life will be severely limited. The most successful people in life are those who have learned to be self-disciplined, and who can be counted on to get things done without having someone always looking over their shoulder.
What is it that you need to do today, that really should not wait? Follow the example of the ant, Proverbs says, and do what needs to be done, without anyone “making” you do it!