Wind howling, rain pelting down, icy cold and miserable. Not the kind of day you expect to see two large ants casually wandering over the cement outside. Their actions made me contemplate what in their lives, their world, had brought them above ground in such terrible conditions. What was the cause of this unusual behaviour? From there I took a moment to consider an ant’s world and how most of what really happens is underground, unseen.
Ant homes can be elaborate designs of amazing architecture and engineering. The way each ant completes his own task that feeds into the colonies business is an organisational design dream. We only see an ant or a line of ants and see ants, not their homes or capabilities. How often do we stop and consider the unseen, the ability of these tiny creatures and what’s really going on underground? They exist on a whole different plain to us.
I’m reminded of an argument I witnessed. One team member was running late and so asked another to cover their presentation in a meeting. The askee immediately announced it wasn’t fair that they had no warning and had to perform with only fifteen minutes notice. Five minutes of that fifteen was then wasted in argument about if this situation was right and fair.
As a witness to this argument I saw the underneath world of what was going on. They weren’t really fighting over the meeting and if it was a fair ask. Both agreed the presentation was important. Both were very capable of giving the presentation with short notice. The ask was fair. But an argument erupted because of the emotional state of both parties. The asker was stressed, frustrated and hurried. The askee was shocked, interrupted and didn’t like being put on the spot. Each person’s response was unusual behaviour.
When you notice that others, or yourself, is behaving in an unusual manner, take a moment to consider why this may be. Look for the cause. Perhaps that person is going through a rough patch or has just emerged from a difficult time. Perhaps they have stress at home or at work that they are bringing into the space they share with you. Perhaps they have simply been surprised and need time to reflect before responding. It can be a whole multitude of things.
Or it can be a spiritual thing. Ephesians 6:12 says:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Strange behaviour like squabbles and quarrels at inopportune times maybe a sign of something spiritual happening underneath e.g. two worship band leaders argue aggressively just minutes before church starts can be a way Satan tries to sabotage worshipping God. Maybe there is more to behaviour than what you can see on the surface.
Today, take time to consider the ant.
Have there been times in your life when you’ve realised that what you see on the surface is not really what is going on? Share your experiences below.
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