Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ant Economics

Ant Economics
December 2, 2013
Proverbs 6:6  "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise."

The Bible is a single story of hope woven together from beginning to end.  But all throughout Scripture there is a variety of wisdom peppered in that needs to be headed while we are on this earth.  Specifically, the book of Proverbs gives us all important information we should implement while living our lives from beginning to end.  One example of such wisdom is an analogy of an ant, the small six-legged picnic nemesis.  Ants are usually considered a pest, but the writer of Proverbs said we should examine the life of an ant and implement the wisdom found by its example.

We are to consider how the ant "stores its provisions in the summer and gathers its food at harvest."  The summer time is when the ant is busiest, storing away any provisions it finds.  It doesn't live extravagantly on the abundance of food during the summer months; it lives only on what it needs and keeps working.  It works hard instinctively, not knowing the future or trying to predict it.  The ant never is content to stop, not knowing how long of a winter it must survive.  If there is work to be done and the ant is able, it keeps working.  If a fellow ant can only gather a little, the others chip in to make sure that ant is still able to eat over the coming winter.  It is an all-for-one and one-for-all mentality. The ant is hard-working and generous with its own family.  It works as long as it is able and never considers retirement.

Humans, on the other hand, like to spend the excess of our income the moment it becomes excess.  If we have a constant level of excess, we simply adjust our standard of living so it is no longer extra.  We may decide to set some away for the future, but that is only retirement monies, not necessarily in preparation for an unexpectedly long winter.  And any money we save is earmarked for ourselves, never for those in need.

This time in our history is marked with economic depression and there are limited moments of excess.  We all hope it ends soon, but we must change our ways regardless.  We must redefine our thoughts of the future, realizing retirement is not actually a Biblical principle.  Long winters may be a constant, not a once-in-a-lifetime event.  And of any monies we have extra, we should consider setting some aside for those in need.  Unfortunately, we have more people who are in need than people who have excess, it seems.  This should be opposite if we all had followed the ant's example.

The ant never turns down work, if there is work to be done.  This is also opposite of humans.  We like to decide if certain work is below our standards of respect.  We refuse work if it doesn't pay as well as we want.  The ant would never turn down working, no matter how menial or insignificant it seems.  The fact of the matter is, humans are lazy.  Yes, this is a generalization, but we are often lazy, exchanging perceived self-respect vs financial stability.  It is time to change our perception of work and financial savvy.  Storing away in times of excess is not hoarding; it is wise, if it is earmarked for the right reasons.  Living frugally should become the new defining trait of our society, not living in excess.  We could all learn a lot from an ant.  It could change our lives forever.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Proverbs 6:1-11

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