The Ant Chant©

© 2004 All Rights Reserved
Written and illustrated by De Dorman

Proverbs 6:6 "Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise."

Matthew 9:37 ,38 "Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: "Pray ye therefore The Lord of the harvest; that He will send forth labourers into his harvest."

Does anyone know why The Lord tells us to learn from ants? How can great big human beings learn anything from such tiny creatures? (read Proverbs 6:6-8 and allow response time)

Yes, the ants do their work without needing anyone to stand over them to make sure the job gets done. In Proverbs 6:8 we see that the ant's reward is plenty to eat.

Just for a few moments, let's take a closer look at a colony of busy little ants and learn from them.

Here they are working away in their little town called Pleasantville. Everyone seems to enjoy doing his part to keep their colony running smoothly.

Look, there's arthur helping his neighbor with some repairs on his house and over there is Miss Lucy spending an afternoon with her grandmother, who is unable to get around as well as she once did. If you listen carefully, you can here an army of ants chanting away as they haul food from the field to their storehouse. this food is going to be eaten during the cold winter months ahead.

"Hut, two, three, four..

What are we working for?

Work by the inch is a cinch...

But work by the yard is hard.

Hut, two, three, four..

What are we working for?

Work by the inch is a cinch...

But work by the yard is hard."

This little chant has been taught to each ant in . Does anyone know what it means? (allow response time.) That's right...They all know Pleasantville that it's best to get a job done quickly, while it's a small task, and not allow it to build up into a great big chore. That's why arthur puts away his tools when he is finished helping his neighbor and you will never find Miss Lucy's place a mess because she knows to pick things up quickly and put them right back in their place. Just imagine what would happen if the ants decided not to gather any food or If they waited too long to do their job, The autumn rains could ruin the grain or the hungry birds would feast until nothing would be left to gather. that would mean that Pleasantville would have nothing to eat during the cold winter months. That's why they work diligently, resting time will be here soon.

Let's listen again as they pass by,

"Hut, two, three, four,

What are we working for?

Work by the inch is a cinch...

but work by the yard is hard!"

Do you see what I see in the tall grass? Oh, no...that's Chester..he's at it again; hiding while others do his work! Let's see what he's up to now. Maybe we can watch and learn something from him, too.

"There they go again..back and forth...back and forth. Don't they ever relax? thinking of all that "Hut, two, three, four gives me a headache! I'd better rest here a few minutes."

Just then Chester's hat blew off and he was spotted by Milton, one of the passing ants.

"Hey, Chester, why aren't you helping us with the work?" We sure could use a hand, it's getting pretty hot out here.

If you would only pitch in, we could all be done sooner."

Chester, who was a little upset about being spotted, replied, "Sure, sure, just as soon as I rest here a minute I'll be right with you. He knew in his heart that he had no intentions of helping. It seemed that wherever there was work to be done, Chester was no where to be found.

"Ok, Chester! don't forget, Oh, remember...there's going to be a big harvest party when we're through and all who have done their jobs throughout the summer are invited to come!" responded a tired but determined ant.

"I can't wait to go!" the lazy ant responded, thinking all along that even if he didn't help with the work, he would go to the party!

"Ah, this is the life!" he thought as he sunk back down into the warm sand. "All that "work by the inch is a cinch" talk makes me tired! they're going to wear themselves out and have no energy left for the party!"

-2- I wonder what kind of games they'll have there this year?" Chester relaxed every muscle in his body while he dreamed about the harvest party. Summer turned into fall and the ants remained busy...all except for Chester, that is. He used one excuse after another for not helping...His head hurt, it was too hot, he was too tired... on and on went the excuses.

Finally, arthur had anchored down the last loose shingle on his neighbor's house and the army had carried the last grain of corn to the storehouse. The ants could finally relax and reap the rewards of their labors! Their minds were on the soon coming celebration!

"The weather is just perfect for our party!" Miss Lucy declared as she and Grandma enjoyed some lemonade in the cool evening breeze. "The ladies of the village are working hard on the preparations for the celebration and it's only a few days away!" Miss Lucy and Grandma talked about what they would wear and wondered who all would be attending.

"Grandma, how do we know who will be there?" asked a curious little ant.

"Well, Lucy, one ant in our town has a very special job. His name is Milton and he has to make sure that all the ants are doing their job. when he sees them at work, their names get written down in the guest book. If they aren't working when he checks on them, they are warned and given another chance. If they continue to be lazy they will not be allowed to come to the celebration. It sounds cruel, but not one ant in Pleasantville has ever missed a party! sad to say, That was about to change! Guess who would be the first little ant to miss out on a harvest party in their tidy town? Yes, that's right! It's Chester...and he's just about to find this out.

The posters were all over town promoting the special event. It would be starting at 6:00 sharp and Everyone was getting their best clothes out and making sure that there was plenty of room in their stomachs for the grand feast to come! The little ones had a nap in order to have enough energy for all the fun and games later on that night (and they didn't even complain.)

6:00 finally came and the guests starting lining up at the banquet hall. Milton told the attendant to check the book and make sure that each person's name was written down before they would be permitted to enter.

-3- Everything was fine until it was Chester's turn to go in. His name could not be found anywhere in the book. Finally, the attendant called Milton. He explained that Chester insisted that he had done his best and that he couldn't help it if he got tired easily and his head hurt a lot. In his heart, though, Chester knew the truth. He had been a lazy ant and was just about to get the reward for his lack of labor. He left that beautiful banquet hall with his head hung low, so sorry that he did not do his "work by the inch"; even if he tried to do it all now...he couldn't possibly get done in time to make the Harvest party. Truly, work by the yard is hard! Chester promised that this would never happen again and went home immediately and started to do what he was supposed to be doing all along...his share of the work!

Do you think Chester ever missed another harvest party? I think he learned his lesson well, and Maybe, just maybe, boys and girls, that's why we never see a lazy ant today. everyone has learned from his mistake! You cannot do enough on your own to get to heaven. (Ephesians 2:8,9) We are told, though, that once we are saved we are to follow the lord...through baptism, church attendance, giving, obeying your parents (Ephesians 6:1)and many other things, The lord promises that your work will be rewarded. (II Chronicles 15:7) have you accepted christ's punishment on the cross as payment for your sins? Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and Romans 6:23 tells us the punishment for our sin is death. but there's hope... Romans 5:8 tells us how god showed us his love. (read) Maybe you have the same problem that Chester struggled with....being lazy. I hope you, too, have learned a valuable lesson from the ant chant. Being lazy only brings us shame. There will be a day when jesus returns and the bible tells us in revelations 22:12 (read) that he will have his rewards with him. We will then dine with the king of kings and lord of lords. Are you ready for that feast?

Matthew 9:37 and 38 (read) tells us of the need for workers in the harvest. Can Jesus count on you to help labor in his fields? The rewards are out of this world!

Isaiah 6:18 asks.. "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?" Can you say, from your heart, "Here am I, Lord, send me"?

Invitation to salvation/surrender to service.

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