Watch the ants scurry around as they work tirelessly to build their empire. Each one diligently scours the land for materials it can use to fortify its fortress. They swarm the splashes of ice cream that drip from your cone as forty-niners descended on the west. Their eyes burn with productivity and their minds are hypnotized by loyalty to community and the queen.
You stand above them casting an eclipse over their nation. They do not flinch. You raise your feet to taunt them but they are unafraid. Little do they know that in a moment’s flare you could wreak havoc on their existence. You are the sole guardian between them and the onslaught of meandering children and your grandmother’s driving.
But they have no regard for that. They are too confident in their own abilities. They are too busy to take notice. Surely this beast looming over us means no harm, we have done him no wrong think the ants. Sure we’ve bitten him once or twice, but only because it made us. It came onto our territory. It tried disrupting our perfect ecosystem. I wonder if it has nothing else to do but observe the harmony of our society.
I think about these ants, the ants I have on more than one occasion tried to destroy, and I wonder if they aren’t a good representation of us. Or maybe I’m lowballing them since they’re obviously much more dedicated and productive than I am.
Nonetheless, I can’t seem to step away from the nudging that asks,
“Do you think you’re invincible?”
Do you think that as long as you stay the course, fit into the mold, and do what the authorities demand, you’ll somehow go untouched? It absolutely seems that way when all the requirements for a successful life are good grades, wealth, drive, and a little bit of good deeds here and there. None of which are intrinsically bad.
But something has infiltrated our subconscious and caused our pride and expectation to balloon to that of immortality.
It’s as if we believe hard work will perpetuate our existence. Our actions convey a nature of rebellion as if there is no authority greater than our ambition.
So long as we exert ourselves for a cause, whether it be noble or base, efficiency and passion will protect us from the ephemerality of man.
But then I have to ask the question, where did they go wrong with the Tower of Babel? Where are the men who aspired to challenge the heavens, who sought to conquer the world, to bless it, or to sacrifice themselves for its betterment?
Have you had the chance to make an acquaintance with the likes of Alexander, Luther, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Moses, or any other? Why are the great conquests and the legacies of leadership, compassion, and achievement made prisoners of history books, chained by ink? Aren’t they deserving of greater preservation?
But what can you do when their bodies no longer choose to fight and their lungs despise air?
Like them, we will one day cease to exist.
This is not intended to be a morbid statement, but one of certainty that hopefully inspires wisdom, humility, and freedom. Is that not why the Bible records these words,
“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.”
Let this reality be the catalyst to amplify the meaning of your life and all that you pursue.
Live life consciously, aware of your surroundings, your blessings, and the opportunity around every corner. We don’t have time to waste or love to spare.
Live life humbly. God holds your life in His hands and loves you no more or less than the brother and sister beside you.
Live life freely. The standards of the world have no dominion over you. You have been redeemed into the place of true freedom.
Yes, be confident and be bold. Have great expectations for life and dream wildly. Apply yourself fully to the cause before you, and be excellent.
I only ask that you ask yourself in the chaos of your day, “How would I feel if this were my last sunset?”