Take a lesson from the ants, you
lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armedrobber. Proverbs 6:6-11
Have you ever watched the ants carrying little bits of food. One after the other marching like soldiers. Or have you had an ant farm so that you could see what it might look like inside that ant hill? And, as you watched those ants did you tell someone else to look and see how busy the tiny ants were? But, did you say Solomon, King of Israel and the wisest man in the Bible, said we should be like the ants?
What I remember from childhood is the nickname of lazybones which I am afraid sometimes still fits. “Come on, Lazybones, get up and do something.” I heard from my father. I think I heard the reverend once when I went to church with Aunt Lizzie preach about laziness. I could never figure out how that man always knew what I had been doing that week. Everyone of his sermons seemed created just for me.
When my Dad called me lazybones, it was in love without condemnation. He looked at the ants with me, but there was no mention of God. But here it is right here and one should be condemned for laziness and learn early on to love industriousness. Even my keyboard thought that should be “industrious Ness.” We don’t use that word very often. Dictionary.com tells us that industriousness is the noun form of industrious. An industrious person is a person who works energetically and is devoted to his work, hard-working and diligent. Industriousness is a quality that is seldom taught today. Perhaps this has become “work hard and you will get ahead.” Interesting how we take the positive side when really it says work hard or “poverty will pounce on you like a bandit.” Now, we say that is part of the fire and brimstone of the 1700s. Everyone should be encouraged with the blessings to the total loss of the other side of the equation. I think we need to balance that equation like you do in algebra. Let others know there are blessing, but there are also consequences if you ignore Solomon’s wisdom.
As a teacher, I often taught shortcuts and quick effective ways of studying. Many teachers went further teaching scanning of the text. I always thought if it was important enough for someone to write it, the school to buy the books, and me to assign it, then the least you could do is read it, not scan it. I didn’t think scanning is what those ants would do. We teach our kids that you don’t have to do the hard work. If you are smart enough you can learn great short cuts and figure out how to be more productive in less time. Efficiency is held up high in the qualities we admire. But is it enough?
How fun to watch the little tiny ants with your kids, but don’t leave God out. What a fun activity ant watching is. It gives us time to say a little about Soloman. Perhaps, someone will ask why was Solomon so wise? Or, who was Solomon. Remember don’t start a monologue. Give them answers, but leave them a little curious so they might want to read about him. Make sure a Bible written at their level is available for them to read more, on Kindle, if possible, (because that’s their media world, and they can search.) Suggest they ask their Sunday School teacher. Get a dialogue going. A child up to 12 can listen intently to a lecture or monolog use for about 2 minutes. 12-15 about 10 minutes. Then they stop listening.
Pray for guidance when you know you need to have a talk with your lazybones. Scan the proverbs. There are many proverbs that address laziness. Get yourself a Kindle Bible. They start at $2.99 and the search feature is fantastic. Get the Bible Hub app. It will search for any key word. For instance I just searched laziness in Bible Hub, and one of the choices was Proverbs 19:15 “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” Here is a chance to teach a new word. Maybe explore images of a sloth in Google. And another chance to exult industriousness and get your family interested in Solomon, God’s blessings, and the Bible. Beware those sloths are very cute. If you can, hand each child a phone and see who can find out why sloths appear very slow and lazy first. If you only have one phone. Time each one as they find the answer, but just show it to you and don’t say anything out loud.
Always remember, if you don’t tell your children about God, non believers will lead them down the wrong paths. Life without God is not life. Make sure you don’t leave God out of their lives by just saying don’t be so lazy.