Lesson on Opportunities: Ants Providing Food in Summer
Lesson on Opportunities: Ants Providing Food in SummerThere are four things which are little upon the earth, But they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; Proverbs 30:24, 25 The Bible talks about ants, conies, locusts and lizards as physically small but exceedinglywise. The first on the list of four are the ants. The ants are described as “a people not strong,yet they provide their food in the summer.”Brief Facts about Ants A survey of informations available on ants reveals the following interesting facts aboutants. Ants evolved around 130 million years ago. There are around 11,000 known species ofants. Their life expectancy is between 45 to 60 days. An ant’s brain consists of 250,000 braincells. They have compound eyes and two stomachs. One stomach is for food storage while theother is food sharing with other ants. Ants use their antennas for touch and smell. They are sixlegged but the movements are fast. For their small size, ants can carry 20 times their bodyweight. They are omnivorous, eating anything including other ants. Ants are social insects thatlive in colonies and have a hierarchy of queen ant, soldier ants, and worker ants. They foragefor their food especially in the summer. You can read much more about ants on your own. Butfor now, I would like to focus on the ant’s habit of foraging food in summer.Providing Food in Summer When we talk about summer, we are reminded about the other three temperateseasons namely, spring, autumn and winter. In spring the snow begins to melt with the daysbecoming warm and the nights still being cool. Life begins to flourish. Autumn brings shorterdays and the weather becomes unpredictable, signalling the prelude to winter. Winter startsthe season of snow and ice with the nights becoming chilly. Life becomes unpleasant andrestricted. Summer is the season between spring and autumn. It is during this time that ants aremost active in foraging for food. Foraging ants can travel as far as 200 meters away from theircolony in search of food by day or night. But in summer, ants with their compound eyes detectthe polarized sunlight to determine their direction during their day. This explains the reasonwhy summer is the time when humans find ants to be a real pest. But whatever the view ofhuman beings about the ants in summer, the ants themselves are carrying out the most gainful
work. They are gathering food before autumn and winter when foraging would be difficult andsometimes impossible. In this aspect, the ants are wise.Lesson for Human Beings Life is not all summer. It has its autumns, winters and springs. But when our lives haveopportunities like that of what summer brings, we have to do what the ants have been doing-provide our food for winter. In short, as human beings, we must grab opportunities to providefor our lives before it disappears. In times of non-opportunities, what we have saved whencircumstances were better is what will carry us through bleak periods of our lives. And what wecan save is not only material resources but also values, psychological strengths and a hardyspirit.Perception of Opportunities Like the seasons that have a beginning and an end, opportunities also have a beginningand end. But like the seasons that have continuity, opportunities also just don’t end. The dohave a continuity. One end of an opportunity would lead eventually to the beginning of a newone later. So, never give-up hopes. Opportunities like the seasons of spring and summer can come into existence and be inabundance. It can also decline like in autumn and become non-existent as in winter. And justlike the season, opportunities change. But whatever the changes, it is how we use anopportunity in an optimum manner is what will benefit us. Opportunities come to all even to those who are considered insignificant and weak.Look at the ants which are considered diminutive and not so strong overtly. Yet, it is this smallinsect that uses the opportunities of summer most actively. Thus, as human beings, we shouldnot consider our present circumstances as final. We become weak when we are defeated in ourminds and spirit. We become small in comparison to others when we are busy comparingrather then being busy utilizing our opportunities. Each opportunity that is utilized, is a smallvictory won, in the midst of changing fortunes. Each small victory won, adds to the reserves forthe bleak times. And the more reserve of victories, the more secure we become in believing inourselves. Opportunities are created not by circumstances but by persons who like the ants arewise.