My Border collie Aggie loved to chase baseballs. We live in the country, so you couldstand and hit a ball as far as you can and she would go get it. One day I was standing in the front yard playing hitting balls to Aggie, when all of a sudden I felt that familiar stinging sensation. I look down and my foot is swarming with fire ants.
I hate fire ants.
I danced, jumped, and moved. I tried to knock them away, but the damage was done. You know the pain. Stinging and burning from their little injections of poison. I hate those little cretins!
But you know, you have to admire them.
I was so mad that I walked over to their mound and started pounding it with the baseball bat.
Die you little villains!
The more I banged, the more of them poured out to attack me. I was crushing dozens with each blow, but still they kept coming. A blow would clog the exits. They dug through furiously and kept coming. More died. Bang, bang bang. Hundreds were dying. Still they came.
“You want a piece of me!”
I kept banging and they kept coming. Sheer numbers were on their side. The first few that survived the barrage were now at my feet. I looked down and started dancing as I kept banging. They kept coming! Nothing would stop them. Now hundreds were close to my sandaled feet.
I beat an honorable retreat, satisfied that I’d made them pay for their pain.
But you know. I still moved. That little bitty ant made me move. I hate them, but when you think about it, you have to respect them. What those little guy lacks in size they more than makes up for in tenacity, sacrifice, and courage. And because of that, they always win in the end.
Turn this around and see it from their perspective. They are the good guys. I’m the bad guy. They are simply protecting their homes and families. I’m the one stepping on them. What would happen if fire ants were like people tend to be? Self-oriented. Isolated. Non-sacrificial. We would have eradicated them a long time ago! Fire ants survive because they work together. They sacrifice together. They fight together.
We could learn from them.
God give us the heart of the fire ant.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1)