ADAM AND MADAM ANT.
One winter day, while Adam Ant and his wife, Madam Ant, were busily sorting and stacking their storehouse of corn, kernel by kernel, along came a grasshopper.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Ant," the grasshopper said. He would have doffed his hat, but of course grasshoppers don't wear hats. "I noticed you working so hard this fine winter day, and I wondered if you might be able to spare a few kernels of corn." The grasshopper cleared his throat and added, "I would be most grateful, for I am simply starving."
Adam and Madam Ant, who had been working while the grasshopper addressed them, stopped for a moment.
"Why do you not have a storehouse of corn like ours?" Adam asked.
The grasshopper smiled sheepishly. "Well, you see, I spend my summers singing beautifully in the grass. I have no time to work."
Adam and Madam Ant nodded knowingly.
"I see," said Adam. "If you spend your summers singing, you should not expect to spend your winters eating." And with that, Adam and Madam Ant returned to their work, leaving the grasshopper to regret his laziness.
That story, based on a famous fable, illustrates the fact that work is better than laziness. A willingness to work is a virtue. A person who is not willing to work should not be admired but pitied or despised. As the Bible says, "Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! Even though they have no prince, 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? I want you to learn this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber" (Proverbs 6:6-11).
The person who works hard whether at school, at home, or at a job is worthy of respect and admiration, because the Bible makes it clear that working well and working hard is right and good.
REFLECT: Who is the hardest working person you know? Do you admire him or her? If so, why? If not, why not? Which do you resemble most (in your work habits): an ant, a grasshopper, a snail, or a dead skunk in the middle of the road? Why?
ACT: Keep your eyes open today for someone who is working hard. Take a moment to thank that person for his or her example of hard work.
PRAY: "Lord, help me to value hard work instead of giving in to laziness."