The Ant Analogy

In the past few days I have been thinking much about the things that matter, the scope of life. When all is said and done, what is it that will remain of my legacy? Of my relationships with the people that matter? What of my relationship with God? Part of the reason for this can be attributed to the coaching classes I began last week. My coach doubles up as my mentor, and so, looking me in the eye and asking the tough questions has a way of putting things in perspective.

I am not a fan of forwards on Whatsapp messages ( I will admit it on here, because if you are in a couple groups like I am, you know that all familiar ding that ushers you to an image or video that you had seen on your other groups… ) but I do read them, and occasionally ‘clear conversation’. One, however, caught my eye, and has stuck with me to-date. I called it the ‘Ant Analogy’. Have a read.

One Sunday morning, a wealthy man sat in his balcony enjoying the sunshine and his coffee when a little ant caught his eye; going from one side to the other side of the balcony, carrying a big leaf several times more than its size. The man watched it for more than an hour. He saw that the ant faced many impediments during its journey, paused, took a diversion and then continued towards its destination.

At one point the tiny creature came across a crack in the floor. It paused for a little while, analyzed and then laid the huge leaf over the crack, walked over the leaf, picked the leaf on the other side then continued its journey. The man was captivated by the cleverness of the ant, one of God’s tiniest creatures.

The incident left the man in awe and forced him to contemplate over the miracle of Creation. It showed the greatness of the Creator. Before his very eyes was this tiny creature of God, lacking in size yet equipped with a brain to analyze, contemplate, reason, explore, discover and overcome.

Along with all these capabilities, the man also noticed that this tiny creature shared some human shortcomings. The man saw about an hour later that the creature had reached its destination – a tiny hole in the floor which was entrance to its underground dwelling.

At this point the ant’s shortcoming that it shared with man was revealed. How could the ant carry the large leaf it carefully managed to its destination into the tiny hole? It simply couldn’t! So the tiny creature, after all the painstaking and hard work and exercising great skills, overcoming all the difficulties along the way, just left behind the large leaf and went home empty-handed.

The ant had not thought about the end before it began its challenging journey and in the end the large leaf was nothing more than a burden to it. The creature had no option, but to leave it behind, to reach its destination. The man learned a great lesson that day. Isn’t that the truth about our lives?

We worry about our jobs, climbing the corporate ladder, sometimes even owning the ladder, what wheels to spin, what designer shoes to wear (whether Giuseppe Zanotti or Bata Ngoma), where to rock the weekend, tracts of land…. Yet, when life comes to an end, whether slowly over time when someone is sick, or sudden when in an accident, all these things will not matter. Neither will they be carried to the grave.

I keep asking myself, what will be left behind of my life? Whose lives have I touched/am I touching/ will I touch? What legacy do I get to live for my child(ren) and family? How have I impacted the lives of people in need, whether through legit organizations or volunteering? How am I showing up when my friends face hard seasons? Most of all, when He calls me home, what will I leave behind? The essence of life has been heavy on my heart. This analogy captures it in the most profound way. May I remember to number my days, that I may not live recklessly, but cultivate wisdom while at it.

I hope it blesses your soul.


Psalms 90:12 
So teach us to number our days,
That we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom.


Photo credits: Blackmerg Studios

Featured Image: Earth Easy

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