The Ant Road
Everyone talks about Jesus' death being a sacrifice.
What about His life?
It was a day I had nothing to do. I don't know why it happened then. Maybe because that's when I was open to something new. Anyway, my day was unplanned. I was completely at loose ends. My friend Linda was sick, TV was no good, and indoors it was stuffy. I wanted to get out, so I wandered part way down the concrete walk that went around our garage to the long black driveway. I just shuffled along, looking down, trying to think of something to do.
That's when I saw them; the ants - crossing the walk one or two at a time. They were far apart, but they stayed right behind each other like they had an invisible road they all knew about. I couldn't see it, but maybe they could. They were moving kind of funny - more stumbling than really walking. Having nothing better to do, I sat down on the walk beside the ant road and watched them cross right under my nose. Then I saw why they were stumbling. They were carrying stuff. It looked like pieces of dirt and grass and tiny sticks. They crossed the walk at an angle and disappeared off into the lawn toting the stuff with them. Some of them were really struggling. The things they carried were bigger than they were!
I was amazed at the little creatures. It was obvious they had some project going. They weren't carrying all that stuff for the fun of it. They had a job, and together they were getting it done. They were working hard. Some of them seemed to be working too hard. I watched as they struggled to carry big pebbles and drag long twigs. Boy! I wondered if ants could have heart attacks or die of overwork. I wondered if some of them were young ants who'd rather be playing, or maybe some were really old and weak, but they had to keep working because the job was important.
It was too bad I couldn't help them. In one hand, I could probably move a whole day's worth of the stuff they were working so hard to carry. They could just load it all onto my palm and then I could move it for them. But of course that was a silly idea. How would I know where they wanted the pile? How could I even let them know I was willing to help? I was so huge compared to them. If they saw me, they'd run scared. Jurassic Park all over again, only in reverse. If they had ears, my voice would be too loud for them. Besides they didn't know English. If they talked, it was ant talk. How could I let them know I wanted to help them? I put my hand down on the walk to see what would happen. One of them ran away, and one made a wide detour around my hand like it was a mountain or something. Just as I thought. They were either scared of me or they didn't notice me. I took my hand away. The ants kept staggering on.
I was really getting into those ants and their struggle. It seemed such a shame that I had nothing better to do for the whole afternoon than to help them, and they couldn't or wouldn't let me. I would be delighted to make friends with them and use my bigness to make things easier. For them the grass they were walking through had to be like huge trees, but I could flatten it with my baby finger. They couldn't see their destination, but I could see their whole world in one glance. I knew so much more than they did and could tell them all about real life. I even had shovels and hoes in the garage that could make super fast work of their job. The only thing that stood in the way of me helping them was their ignorance and fear.
I got into it even more. I pretended I had magical power where I could talk with the ants. Maybe if I could talk with them I could get them to understand that I wanted to help them. Maybe I could find one very smart ant that wasn't afraid of me. Maybe I could somehow communicate with him and then he could tell all the other ants. Would they believe him? Probably not. He might get a few to believe him but not enough. Most of the ants would think he was crazy. Maybe I could find more than one very smart ant. Maybe ten or more. If more than one said the same thing about me then maybe the rest of the ants would believe. The only trouble is, probably I couldn't get all ten smart ants to say the same thing. They'd disagree among themselves about who I was, and the rest of the ants would get confused or think all of them were crazy. How could I possible tell all the ants about me? It had to be in a way that enough of them would believe in me. If enough of them believed I really existed and was friendly, then maybe they would let me help.
"But how do I get them to believe in me? Those ants only believe what they can see and feel in their own little world. They do the same thing over and over again, day after day, and probably don't even look for a better way. They don't know about my world and how important it is. The only things they believe are things in their own little ant world. The only being they care about and listen to is another ant."
The only way I could see to tell them about me was to somehow become an ant. Of course I would have to stay me at the same time. After all - how could I tell them about me if I was completely one of them? If I was just an ordinary ant, I would forget my bigger world and I'd be as weak as they were. I would have to be both - stay me, but also be and ant. Then I could tell them about me.
Wait a minute. There was still a problem. If I was just like them, I'd have no way of proving what I said. I could talk all I wanted to, but that wouldn't make them believe me. Even though I would be one of them, I'd have to be able to have extra power. Then I could use that power to convince them I was different. I would have to be a super-ant. If I did some impressive stuff, the ones that saw me do it would wake up and listen. Then they would believe. They would talk it around and more ants would come to see me. After a while quite a large number of ants would believe I was real. There would still be some stubborn ones, and they might cause trouble; they might cause a lot of trouble. But still - I would have gotten through to a lot of them.
That's what I would have to do. I'd have to become an ant. Yikes! Would I want to do that? I mean an ant is so……so…… Yuk! I don't think I'd want to be an ant. But it would be the only way to convince enough of them that I was real, and wanted to help.
Then again, like in the organ loft, something poured into me and made me quit thinking about the ant world. I was made aware of a profound lesson. I realized everything that had been going on in my mind was not about ants but about Jesus Christ. God did for people what I didn't want to do for the ants! He wanted to help people, but people wouldn't let Him. They were either afraid of Him, ignored Him or didn't believe He was real. They didn't know how much He wanted to help. So God became a person. At the same time He had to keep being God. He had to do some impressive things to make people understand He was more than just an ordinary person. He knew from the beginning that some people would be stubborn and cause trouble, a lot of trouble, but that didn't matter to Him. If he could just convince enough of His existence and that He wanted to help, then everything He went through would be worth it. So God became a person.
I guess God will use anything to teach us about Himself if we will just take the time to be open to Him. This time long ago He used insects. Common ordinary ants. Until then, I never had gotten very excited about ants. You worked to keep them out of the house and off the picnic table. That was it. But since then, every time I see ants, I remember the lesson.
We talk about the great sacrificial love Christ had when He died on the cross. Now I ask you one thing. How much love do you think it would take to do the rest of what God did? To come out of His “big world” into our limited little one just to say He loved us and wanted to help us. To live our temporal, lesser life, because it was the only way to get through to us. I know – He created mankind in the first place, but He also knew in advance what we would do to Him. He spent 33 years living a double life of being human while at the same time being super-human, just so He could convince enough of us that He is real. Some people might like the idea of doing that. Human and super-human at the same time, like Superman. Wow! Yeah! Maybe even you think you would like to do that. But let me put it this way. Would you like to become an ant?