Myrmecology. It's the study of ants. And a fascinating study it is. Says one myrmecologist, "Acting together, ants are among the dominant forces of our terrestrial environment." Individually equipped with unique strengths and capabilities, they work together to accomplish seemingly impossible feats.
Worker ants are built for suicidal dedication. Space in their body saved by the reduction or elimination of reproductive organs is partly filled by biological weapons. In the most extreme know case, workers of a Malaysian species of carpenter ants function as walking bombs. Huge poison-filled glands run the entire length of their body. In a fight they rupture their own body wall, spraying the poison over their adversaries; at the same time, other glands release pheromones to summon nest mates to the fray. Each species of ant has its own distinctive combination of such weaponry and communicative signals. ...
Army ants, particularly the swarm raider of Central and South America, provide prime examples of ant teamwork. The individuals are large, about a quarter-inch long, and the colonies contain between 170,000 and 700,000 workers. In the early morning, thousands of workers pour out of the bivouacs, forming a solid marching phalanx, up to 45 feet or more across and three to six feet in depth, that proceeds outward at the rate of a foot a minute. The army sweeps almost all prey before it--tarantulas, scorpions, other ants and even an occasional snake or lizard. ...
How has something so small become so astonishingly successful and important? The ant's major advantage appears to be social organization. The operational unit is not the individual but the entire colony.
Is it any wonder that the writer of Proverbs asks us to "consider the ant?" What if every member of a local church worked together with that kind of teamwork? And what if all of the churches in the world combined their efforts? Can you imagine the impact we could have if we moved and operated as one? With Christ as our Head, shouldn't it be said of us that, "the operational unit is not the individual but the entire Church"?
"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!" (Proverbs 6:6).
"He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love" (Ephesians 4:16).