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Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Ants Go Marching...




March verb: walk in a military manner with a regular measured tread.
 
  • walk or proceed quickly and with determination
  • force (someone) to walk somewhere quickly
  • walk along public roads in an organized procession to protest about something (advance/progress)
 
In these times of dissent and confusion, marches for various causes have become more prevalent. Those who march for their “cause”, and those who hold strong opinions about these marches, are as passionate and diverse as our nation itself. I find myself, at different times and in various situations, wondering just whose side I’m on and what I should choose to do. Then, I am reminded of ants…

 As a child, like many of my age, I spent a good deal of my time outdoors. In mild weather, with the screen door banging behind me, I roamed the immediate neighborhood seeking adventure (such as it was, in those days.) until lunch or dinner lured me home again for a short while. Growing up in a city, and being intrigued by all life, there was not much more than garden plants, weeds, birds, and bugs to investigate. The bugs were common ones – caterpillars, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, beetles… and ANTS!
While I captured, studied, and played with all of these, I have especially strong memories of the ants. During several summers, I carefully dug up ant nests and set the tiny residents up in my own home-made ant farm – a large glass jar filled with soil with black paper taped around the sides. It never took the ants long to reestablish themselves in their somewhat abbreviated world of the jar. As they worked to create their myriad tunnels and living quarters, some which were down along the glass sides, I would remove the paper at times to observe them.
Some of the best education is personal experience; here is a small bit of what I learned about ants:
·     When a threat is perceived, ants respond quickly and with vigor.

·     There appears to be chaos and confusion at first, with scurrying about in all directions.

·     They quickly take up their assigned roles of defending, carrying loads of young and food, saving their queen, and seeking safety.

·     Often, when the threat has passed, they return to their nest site to painstakingly rebuild.

·     If deemed necessary (Who knows how?) they will rebuild their colony at a new site – marching steadfastly back and forth until all has been accomplished – and resume their lives.

·     In the greater scheme of things, they are teeny, tiny specks of life in a vast universe.

·     Within that universe, they are important and part of the wider-ranging web of life.

·     We are not that much different.
 
In times such as these, we each have our personal decisions to make as to our beliefs and associated actions. Study, soul-searching, diligence, and respect are needed for all of us. There has always been, and will continue to be, times of disagreement, distrust, and division among humans, and Christians are no exception. Among these Ds don’t forget dialog, discussion, and discernment. PRAY, especially for all those “others”- and don’t forget the ants…

God, when you took the lead with your people, when you marched out into the wild,
Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat; God was on the march.
Psalm 68:7-8  (from The Message)

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