Ants are so industrious and purpose-driven! I watched an ant scurry, with great focus and determination, to reach its destination of a tiny crumb of food on a picnic table. Its mission seemed clear; its path straight. But abruptly it stopped and frantically changed course to reach the same crumb from a different approach. Its momentary slowdown was hardly noticeable, and the frantic pace resumed quickly.
Provision and reward for its labor were in clear view…until I set my glass down right in the middle of its highway to heaven. An obstacle had presented itself. Now what? Not to worry! Immediately, the ant detoured around the glass, resuming, once again, its rapid pace and determination. For a brief moment, I think the tiny little ant was confused. What changed its little ant mind to re-direct the initial route?
When its Plan B route was sabotaged by my glass, more confusion could have arisen. Nothing was going as originally planned! A good day’s work, provision for the family, and a day’s ant wages were in jeopardy, and it didn’t even have a boss or overseer to appeal to for help! (Take a lesson from the ants…though they have no prince or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. Proverbs 6:6-8 NLT). When confronted with confusing changes and frustration, the ant remained steadfast in its quest to bring home the bacon (or crumb) and accomplish the task at hand…just not the way it had planned.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9 NASB). How often have we made plans or established goals to accomplish a successful educational path, career move, marriage, family plan, etc., only to have unexpected obstacles fall on our well-thought-out path and change everything? A giant glass is set down right in the middle of our highway to heaven, and confusion settles over us like a thick fog.
What is Plan B? QUICK—where’s the detour? A lifelong career position seems so predictably secure until the position is eliminated. Maintaining reasonably good care of the body seems to ensure a long, healthy life until cancer or heart disease leaps onto our path. A child goes astray, and the perfect family falls apart. The death of a loved one sneaks up and changes every bit of stability and peace we thought we had. Those are pretty big glasses slammed down right on our highway to a heavenly, blissful life.
Think about the ant. It never even allowed the fog of confusion to descend at all! It immediately adapted to change. Can we adapt to God’s plans that quickly? I like to think we’re getting better at it because God has a Plan B that is far better than our A. When we find ourselves confused and perplexed, it’s time to trust Him and His plan. The confusion often comes when we insist on our own way. Regarding that confusion…it doesn’t come from God. 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV) tells us, God is not the author of confusion but of peace. When sudden changes occur that disrupt life, and the fog of confusion tries to descend on you, declare that verse out loud. There is something so empowering about declaring God's Word!
Look for the Lord’s way out of the fog. The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you’ (Psalm 32:8). Take a lesson from the ant…learn from its ways and become wise!
© 2021, Chris Werre