VS. Ant Sloth
Sloths sleep from 20 hours a day and are among the slowest moving animals in the world, moving 6-8 feet per minute. And they move so slowly that green algae grows on their fur and then they lick it for nutrition.
Most of their lives is spent hanging upside in trees. They sleep, eat, and even have babies upside-down! Sloths have a four-part stomach that slowly digests the tough leaves they eat. It can sometimes take up to a month for a sloth to digest a meal. They leave the • trees once a week to relieve themselves. • What does it mean to • to be a sloth?
Sloth – “acedia”, which means a lack of caring, an aimless indifference to one’s responsibilities to God and to man. • Why do some people • act like sloths?
Proverbs 26:13 • “A lazy person says, ‘here’s a lion in the road! A lion in the streets! Another good reason to stay in today.’ ” Fear
Proverbs 26:14 • “As a door swings on its hinges and goes nowhere, so a slacker turns over in his bed.” • Habit
Proverbs 26:15 • “Some people are so lazy that they reach for food on the plate but lack the will to bring it up to their mouths.” • Laziness
Proverbs 26:16 • “The slacker sees himself as wiser by far than seven men who can converse intelligently.” • Foolish
Proverbs 6:6-11 • You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. • So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed?A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? • Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,poverty your permanent houseguest!
Ants are social insects. It means they work together as a whole. Amazingly, ants know how to divide tasks among themselves, they have good communication skills, and the ability to solve complex problems. No wonder King Solomon used these tiny • creatures to • illustrate practical • truths.
There are over 11,000 different species of ants. They live in colonies numbering from a few to over 20 million. There are approximately 1 quadrillion ants in the world today. (This is a 10 followed by 15 zeros!) That’s a lot of little critters! Ants are so numerous that • scientists say that the • combined weight of • all ants in the world • is about equal to that • of all the humans on • the earth!
They are able to lift 20 times their own body weight. That means that if I had their strength I could lift approx. 2500 lbs.
Ants have been found to build structures 500 times their own height. The brain of one ant has 250,000 cells whereas the human brain has 100 billion brain cells. However they probably use more of their cells than • we do. Ants also have 2 • stomachs. One for • storing up food to • share with • others later, and one • for itself. The life • expectancy of an • ant is 45-60 days. Yet • these tiny creatures • accomplish much in • your short life-span.
Ants are small but smart. At first glance at a anthill, and you just see a lot of activity. Ants running around everywhere…..but they have a plan.
In order to carry out the plan in an efficient manner, the ants must all participate. Take a look at an anthill, and you won’t see many, if any, ants just standing around doing nothing. They • are all working. • Every ant has a • job to do. No job is • more important • than another. No • one has to tell them • what their job is… • and no one has to • push them to do it!
The ant colony survives and thrives because every ant does its job. • Queen ants lays eggs. The African Driver Ant lays 3-4 million eggs per month. She lives almost 7 years. Can you imagine being the mother of 300 million children? That’s her job. • Male ants mate and die. Short life (perhaps only a few months). That’s their job. • Female worker ants dig • tunnels, collect and process • food and care for other ants. • That’s their job.
Each ant labors according to his own ability - (Storekeepers, engineers, nurses, farmers, laborers) • Dairy ants make sure their “cattle” (aphids) stay well-fed and safe. When the host plant is depleted of nutrients, the ants carry their aphids to a new food source. If predatory • insects or parasites • attempt to harm their • wards, the ants will • defend them aggressively. • These dairy ants even go • so far as to destroy the • eggs of known aphid • predators.
Some species of dairy ants continue to care for their aphids during winter. The ants carry the aphid eggs home, and tuck them away in their nests for the winter months. They store the precious aphids where temperatures and humidity are optimal, • and move them as • needed when • conditions in the nest • change. In spring, • when the aphids hatch, • the ants carry them to • a host plant to feed.
In some instances, these ants construct shelters out of soil to shield the aphids from the environment. Worker ants stroke the aphids with their antennae to induce them to release drops of honeydew. The ants then transfer this honeydew to another group of workers, who carry it back to the nest and share it with • nest workers. Individual • workers may spend • days or weeks among the • same group of aphids. • Nothing can change the • ant’s priorities.
Lesson for the sloth • God has also gifted and equipped each of us for some type of work in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27), and He will use us according to our ability.
Ecc. 9:10 Whatever you find to do, do it well.. Col 3:23 So no matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s.
Then there is the Honey Pot Ant. Like the herding ants, they gather honeydew from insects or plants. The difference between the herding ants and honey pot ants is that the honey pot ants carry the honeydew back to their nests and feed it to workers. They get so full of the honeydew they can't walk.
All they can do is hang from the ceiling of a chamber. Whenever ants in the colony want some of this honeydew they tap on the ant and it releases some of the honeydew. • He is a blessing to all!
Another type of ant is the Slavemakerant. • This group of ants attacks the nest of other ants to kidnap the pupa. They are called slave makers but they do not actually force the captured ants into slavery, but instead brings them into their colony and makes them part of the family. • We need to take lessons from the slavemaker—We need to enter “Satan’s colony” and take as many as captives as we • can and bring them into • God’s family.
Lesson for the sloth • God calls us to care for others by feeding the hungry—both physically and spiritually. “When you’ve done it for the least of these.” Matthew 25:35 • Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:4-5
Once upon a time there were a pig and a cow living together on a farm. The cow was popular while the pig was not. This puzzled the pig. "People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your sorrowful eyes," the pig said to the cow. ’They think you’re generous because each day you give them milk and cream. But what about me? I’m going to give • them everything I have. • I’ll give bacon and ham. • I’ll provide bristles for • brushes. They’ll even • pickle my feet! Yet no one • likes me. Why is that?’“ • The cow replied, • "Perhaps it is because I • give while I’m still living.’"
One of the reasons that ants can get so much accomplished despite their size and in such a small amount of time is because of harmony.
In South and Central American rainforests ants work together and will lie down in the potholes that stand between their army and food. Their bodies form a makeshift bridge, allowing other ants—sometimes numbering over 200,000- • to make better • time in • getting to • the source • of • nourishment.
Fire ants band together and form life rafts that help them survive the flash floods of the Brazilian rain forests. As a unified raft, they can even travel for months before reaching dry land. Whereas an individual fire ant will flounder, struggle, and then eventually sink.
The New Testament often speaks of our need to be connected to fellow believers in order to survive and grow spiritually. Alone, we can sink; but clinging and growing together in Christ, we can ride out any storm. • If the church united, put away our petty differences and disagreements, stand together in the power of the Holy Ghost, Hell would tremble in our presence! - Mark 3:25; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph 4:3)
Ants work together in harmony. They are so busy doing what they’re supposed to do that they don’t have time to fight amongst themselves! • Lesson for the sloth • When energy intended to be used outside • (helping others or sharing with others) is • used inside, the result is explosive. Instead • of casting nets, we cast stones. Instead of • extending helping hands, we point accusing • fingers. Instead of being fishers of the lost, we become critics of the saved. Rather then helping the hurting, we hurt the helpers. The result? Church scrooges. “Bah humbug” spirituality. Beady eyes searching for warts on others while ignoring the warts on the nose below. Crooked fingers that bypass strengths and point out weaknesses. Split churches. Poor testimonies. Broken hearts. Legalistic wars. And, sadly, poor go unfed, confused go uncounseled, and lost go unreached.
Psa 133:1 Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Eph 4:3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ants don’t know the meaning of procrastination! They don’t wait until the weather turns cold before they begin preparing. They gather food while it is still warm and take it into their colony! Many of those who work hard all day will never eat of the food they are preparing because their they will die before cold weather……but they want to make certain that their families are • taken care of. Sluggards • are always waiting for a • better tomorrow.
Have you ever kicked over an ant pile? Do those ants say, “Oh, we’ll fix our ant pile tomorrow just let it go for now.” No! Instantly there are thousands of them out there working away like crazy repairing • that ant pile. Ants • aren’t quitters. • They persevere.
Ant’s Work Continually - All Day! No pay, • promotion, thanks, pats on back, reward yet they • work! Ants never get mad and quit and they never • go on strike! They just work! • Lesson for the sloth • Galatians 6:9-10 • So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Ants have their own particular language and ways of communicating with one another. Sometimes they communicate by tapping against the outside walls of their nests. Sometimes they communicate by giving off certain chemicals called pheromones that give off a distinctive • smell. Certain kinds • of ants have a • certain organ by • which they give off • a squeaky or • buzzing sound.
Ants communicate with one another for various reasons. One occasion is when there is a newly discovered food supply. The ant or ants that found the food will leave a scent trail so all the other ants can get in on what they have found.
Lesson for the sloth • We need to give off a "scent" that says that we have found something wonderful and we want everyone to get in on what we’ve found. God saved our souls, and we have been feasting off His blessings ever since. We need to share.
Will we learn • from the • ants or….
Will we just hang around? Sloth
You Can Learn A Lot From Ants--Mike Turner • A Sermon on Six Legs –Alan Carr • Lessons from the Ant—Ken Trivette