“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags; locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks; a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces. Proverbs 30:24-28 NIV
There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces. Proverbs 30:24-28 NKJV
“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” Zechariah 4:10 NIV
They say (whoever “they” is) that the human being is the superior being upon the earth and yet, if we are careful observers of human behavior, there is much reason to doubt that “they” say.
We tend to spend what we don’t have, forget about others and think only of selves, and usually get caught up in the most mundane debates and conflicts. Then, because we have seldom reached out to help others, we wonder why–if and when we need–there’s no one to be found to help.
That is not to say that whoever is holding out a hand–expecting something to put into it–should be helped. We should all exercise wisdom and discernment–being good stewards over what God has provided us. However, wisdom–when exercised–will reveal to us who is actually in need of help and who is simply scamming people.
Now, reflecting upon the above-referenced passages–can we say, unequivocally–that we are as wise as those little creatures who act so much more responsibly than we do? Do we “prepare” for life or do we simply exist in life? When we have–do we set aside a portion to use another day? Do we take the time to prepare to achieve goals or do we just set them and without any preparation–expect to accomplish anything?
In our current economic state–by now most people know–we need a college education in order to navigate the obstacle course of life. We no longer have access to the “manufacturing job” that only required an ability to follow instructions, therefore not much education was needed to do “rote work” on a job. Now, we need to know how to “think critically” without someone standing over us, telling us what to do.
One of the biggest problems I’ve observed as an educator is that not many students take any initiative in learning. They wait–expecting to be spoon fed information–and tend to get angry when expected to think. They have been trained to simply regurgitate what they have been told and most–even when they could successfully refute what they’ve been told, never say a word. This is not an acceptable path of learning.
In order for one to truly learn anything and learn it well, they must be willing to question every aspect of what they’re being told or what they discover. It is through questioning that we learn and the more we discover, the more questions we should have. We can conclude we have learned what’s needed when we can no longer ask a question about the matter. But how many people understand that concept?
Those in research–the scientist, the discoverers, the inquisitive, understand this concept which makes them valuable assets in any society. They are seldom satisfied with the first or last thing they discovered and keep questioning their findings. This is not a large group of people–comparatively so to the population on the planet–this is a small, dedicated group of people that many don’t acknowledge unless something tremendous is found. Though there are a number of people working on a project–those seeking a cure for cancer–it is seldom the small group–that gets the accolades–but they don’t care. They just keep going, and going, and going–like the rabbit promoting the battery.
We are admonished not to think lightly or to despise the small things in life, for if we are truly wise, we know that it is the small steps taken by small groups that make a big difference in the lives of others.
Therefore, we prepare for doing big and great things, by taking the first small steps–in whatever it is–we hope to accomplish. First things first–Remember The Name!