Perhaps you’ve heard this expression, “to fail to plan is to plan to fail”.

ant-trailAnd I think most people will nod and agree. But what do we do with it? How do we plan in such a way so we don’t fail? Now that would be helpful, right?   In Proverbs 6:6-8 we read:

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

This Proverb isn’t difficult to understand. Without a commanding officer or any kind of supervisor, The Creator endows an ant with the ability to plan. It gathers provisions in summer and food at harvest time. Ants are ready for winter. They’re not surprised. And they don’t have a calendar.

We do.

Why are we unprepared for the expense of the Christmas season? Why are we unprepared for the expense of birthdays? Why are we unprepared to give to our church or those in need?

We fail to plan and therefore, plan to fail.   But this is more than just a Proverb about saving money—although that’s certainly a valid application. The concept is far bigger with further reaching implications. This Proverb is teaching us about responsibility.

Personal responsibility. An ant takes personal responsibility and does its part in preparing the entire colony for those seasons where there will not be a lot of resources. Why don’t we?

Unfortunately, I think the same thing making us unique is also what can cripple us. Intuition. We presume on the future. We live for today. We ignore the cycle of the past.

And just like the cost of Christmases, birthdays, and giving: we fail to plan on the recurring nature of life. We fail to take personal responsibility and in the process let our “colony” down.

This is the message and warning of Proverbs 6:6-8. We must be on guard. Learn our lessons.  Take responsibility. And plan. Then, we will plan to succeed and will better ride out the ebb and flow of life.