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Ant Antics

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7)

Billy Graham once compared humanity to a colony of ants. He pictured God looking down at this colony of ants, wondering how to communicate with them. If he tried to tell them how much he loved them, His voice would sound like booming thunder. If He tried to reach down His hand to them, they would be crushed under the weight. So He decided that the only way He could communicate his love to the ants, was to come down to earth as an ant Himself.

I was thinking about how we must all look like ants to God. If you were God, and you were looking down on the multitude of ants, would you laugh at their egotistical hi-jinks?

The female ants try and stand out in the crowd with lots of perfume, so they smell better than the rest of the ants. They wear high heels and bright red lipstick, and show off diamond studded hoop earrings that sparkle and shine in the breeze they’d make when they flip their sleek long hair behind their ears just so.

And of course the male ants would have their own macho ness to prove. What looks cooler than an ant behind the wheel of a shiny black Lamborghini? Rev up the engine, flash those pearly whites (do ants have teeth?) and you’re good to go. And it wouldn’t hurt to fan a few green backs while you’re at it. The picture of success for any hard working ant…a car, money, and don’t forget the sunglasses!

I imagine the more dignified ants in suits and ties would scoff at ants who are dressed like hippies and gurus. And the hippies would look at the suits with the same disdain. See, the thing is, the ants all think they have it right, and everyone else is wrong.

When God looks down from heaven at any given moment, He is sure to take in a show of all the ant antics going on. He’ll see all the macho ants cruising the highways, and the rare beauties standing in high heels on the street corners. Even the younger ants need to display their identities – tattoos of skulls and snakes on their arms, their fuzzy ant hair dyed purple and standing at attention, cigarettes hanging out of the corner of their mouths.

Just like these ants living in futility, desperate for the world to notice them, are we. Haven’t we been programmed to pay more attention to the good looking ants? The ants with the hippest garb and fastest cars are the ones that captivate us. Why is that? We look at the outward appearances, but not so with God. God looks at our hearts. He doesn’t care if we have acne, skinny chicken legs, or if we drive a rusty Volkswagen beetle. He looks at our hearts.

When you picture a colony of ants, don’t they all look exactly the same? This need to stand out from the crowd is what’s behind all the earrings and tattoos. That says, “Look at me! I’m different!” But according to the Bible, what sets us apart to God is our hearts. If God’s eyes were roaming the planet looking for the faithful, none of the makeup or souped up cars would speak to Him, but our hearts would. His eyes would probably stop and rest on the ants with the biggest hearts, the hearts that were set apart from the other ant’s hearts, because they were so full of humility and love, heads bowed in reverence before Him. “Look at those special ants with the hearts that are glowing,” He would brag, “look at how beautiful their hearts are!”

The next time you’re tempted to sweep an anthill off your sidewalk, bend down and take a closer look. If any of them are wearing earrings or sunglasses, the least you could do is give them some dignity and ask them nicely to relocate before the hurricane hits.