“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” – Proverbs 6:6

I noticed an ant rolling solo and silently wrestled with whether I should take his life or allow he live, knowing that if he lived he’d surely invite many of his most ardent friends to revel in the crumb laden Eden of my kitchen. I named him “Rant” because he seemed to be a rebellious loner.

As I reflected on my ant buddy, and the layers of justice with which I contemplated his fate, I realized again how You, Lord God, do the same, and much more, over me. For you rightly assess my benefit to earth’s kitchen along with my unknown and future sins, contemplating a balanced justice far beyond my best comprehensions, and properly selecting when I live and die.

Mr. Rant should be joyful for I was patient.

Any failure on my part to find joy in “all things” stems from my inappropriate view of justice, namely that it presupposes my existence on earth as right, fortuitous, expected, or fair. This inappropriate view states that, “My existence is deserved, my health earned, and long life an enhancement of my credibility”. But, if my ant friend be any example, I must be repentant of such blatant and immature logic.

To live long or simply to live at all is not equitable, fair, or deserved! I had no participation in my own inception! I did not speak into the plans for my conception biologically or spiritually!

What deems something “fair” or “equitable” is agreement by both parties. A term, alliance, or a contract that specify two individuals having agreed to measures of mutual benefit. I certainly did not agree to being born. It happened without my approval. And, when one party receives terms, to his benefit, while not having participated in the contract itself, nor offering any item in return, that is not “justice” that is a GIFT.

Anything given to a man, of which he had no involvement, or opinion, is quite simply a GIFT. And, being that I did not participate in my creation, literally having no say or adding any value back towards my own initiation to earth, I must admit that this life, both biologically and spiritually, is something other than justice and therefore can never be unfair and should always be appreciated. It is a GIFT always a GIFT ever. To die at age twelve, a GIFT. To breathe one more time, a GIFT. To awake to just one more sunset, a GIFT. To experience the pain involved with life, still a GIFT.

Today, I determined that my buddy “Rant” should live.

He did not provide a sales pitch on the value of his life. He certainly did not earn his daily wage. And, it’s highly likely, that to my disgust, he’ll return with friends, to eat the remainders of the granola bar stuffed in the trash. However, for a few small moments I stood in omniscience over the world of one ant and provided him a GIFT he’ll never understand or deserve.

I must live thankful today, it’s all a GIFT.

Posted by Anthony Wood

Anthony is Pastor of Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA, and has authored the books Defining Church & Defining Family. He’s married to Bre, and they have three children.

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