AUGUST 16, Proverbs 6:6

Look, Mom,” said Mark as he handed her his report card. “I got all A’s this time.”

“Good,” said Mom, but she sighed as she looked at the card and saw that Mark’s teacher had praised him for being helpful. When he was asked to help at home, he often said, “I’m too tired.” Other times it was, “Can’t Lana do that?” Sometimes he simply said, “I don’t feel like it.” He helped only because his parents insisted on it.

One day when Mark again resisted helping his mother, she told him to go outdoors with her. “Bring a cookie along,” she said. “We need some crumbs.” Mark looked at her in surprise, but he did as he was told. “Do you see any ants?” asked Mom as they stood in the playground.

Mark looked around. “I see a few over there,” he said, pointing to a crack in the concrete. “Put some cookie crumbs down there,” directed Mom.

“Why are we feeding the ants?” asked Mark as he put several crumbs on the pavement. As he watched, an ant found a large crumb, lifted it up, and carried it away. “Wow! That ant carried a crumb three times its size,” said Mark.

Mom nodded. “Do you know that ants can carry things up to 50 times their weight? And that they’ll continue working as hard as they can until they’ve gathered as much as possible?” she asked. “They don’t seem to ever think about themselves, but only about the colony. If they could talk, I don’t think you’d hear them say things like, ‘I’m too tired-can’t somebody else do it?’ Or, ‘I don’t feel like doing this!’ The Bible says we can learn from the ant by noticing how hard it works.”

Mark grinned sheepishly. “Do you have anyone special in mind?” he asked, knowing she meant him.

Thought: Are you hard-working and helpful at home as well as at school?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me not to be a lazy person, a sluggard. I pray I’ll be a helpful child wherever You place me – in church, in school, at home, or anywhere else! In Jesus’ name I ask – amen.