I love working in our yard, cutting the grass, trimming trees, planting and growing different plants. We have a peach tree and several plum trees that I am still trying to figure out, but overall, I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when the yard looks really nice, and you can smell really beautiful flowers as you walk around outside. I hope to eat some fruit from those peach and plum trees, but for now, I have resolved to just buy them until I figure it out. However, not everything is pleasant in the yard; a hideous villain lurks in the grassy shadows, waiting to attack the flesh of anyone who stands still: that’s right, the evil and heartless fire ant.
Now whether you hate them as much as I do or not, you have to give those guys, and all of their regular, non-biting cousins, some due credit. These guys are strong, lifting between 20 to 100 times their body weight. They build intricate mazes of tunnels into ant “condos”, springing up everywhere after fresh applications of insect poisons, or torrential downpours. These guys are fierce survivors, banding together to ward off attacks, and even building a floating mound of ants during floods where the ants rotate out from the bottom of the pile to the top to breathe. Lastly, they are diligent workers, storing up food and supplies for leaner times, and constantly on the go. The crazy thing is they just do it without laws, supervisors, or even finding reasons to impress others. The best description of this is in Proverbs 6:6-8; take a minute and read that.
If I could bring myself to admire any of the traits of an ant, it would be that of diligence, that faithfulness to do something to the best of your ability, and not because your boss told you to or somebody was watching either. I was speaking with someone recently who shared with me that she has decided to make it a point to encourage, genuinely encourage at least one person each day. She shared a wonderful example of where this already has been done, and what a beautiful experience that was for her, and the person she was encouraging. She is a newly retired teacher, and her love of the piano alone is an encouragement for me as I hear her play. Of course, our conversation started my brain cells up, and I thought “What if we were as diligent as ants in carrying out encouragement each day?”
I know that almost sounds silly simple, but what if our life’s work each day was simply about making other people’s lives better, offering kind words and a smile to at least one person that intersects our lives each day; not because we have to, or not because we are told to, or not even because we want someone to witness it? What if it was so ingrained in us that it was just what we were supposed to do, and all we knew was to be diligent in doing that? How much better would our world be?
Encouragement does cost each of us something: effort, and a commitment to another individual. Other than that small cost, encouragement is free. The great thing is that a large part of the time; encouragement almost perpetuates itself after it begins within one person, able to spread quickly. Think about all of the wonderful ‘pay it forward’ stories and the ‘restoring faith in humanity’ stories that we witness from time to time. Encouragement is by far one of the best gifts we can give someone, but we must remain diligent, just like the ant, to recognize the opportunities we get each day to do just that. When you’re out in your yard again, take the time to notice the ants, and how diligent they truly are, and how they amazingly need no supervision for their diligence. There is one catch though; do not be standing in the middle of the ant hill. I wouldn’t want you to experience their diligence in attack mode.
#justbe #noquit #parkinsons #litwithin #bike2live #move4PD #teamfox