“Go to the Ant”
“UNUSUAL ANTS”—that strange headline appeared a few years ago in a newspaper article regarding a quickly built Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. What inspired the headline? It is not difficult to understand when you look at an aerial photograph of such a construction site. A subtitle in the same newspaper article explained: “Five hundred Witnesses of Jehovah on a construction site—a surrealistic anthill.”
The comparison is apt, perhaps more so than the reporter realized. Granted, from far above, a few hundred people scrambling around a construction site may resemble ants on an anthill. But in this case the resemblance is more than superficial. Why is this? Jehovah’s Witnesses take seriously the Bible’s counsel at Proverbs 6:6, which says: “Go to the ant . . . ; see its ways and become wise.” How can one become wise by observing ants?
For one thing, ants get a lot done. The Bible encyclopedia Insight on the Scriptures notes: “Not only is their instinctive preparing for the future notable but also their persistence and determination, often carrying or tenaciously dragging objects weighing twice their own weight, doing everything possible to fulfill their particular task, and refusing to turn back even though they may fall, slide, or roll down some steep precipice.”*
Similarly, while Jehovah’s Witnesses do not lug around twice their body weight in construction materials, they do often amaze their neighbors by how much they accomplish on their construction projects in a relatively short time. It is not uncommon to see their Kingdom Halls spring up from the foundation and be finished in the course of just two or three days!
How do they get all of this done? By imitating the ant in another key respect. Insight on the Scriptures says of ants: “Remarkably cooperative, they keep their nests very clean and show concern for their fellow workers, at times assisting injured or exhausted ants back to the nest.” The above-noted reporter seemed struck by a similar cooperative spirit among the Witnesses, describing “a tremendous effort accomplished with a smile in a relaxed atmosphere by about 80 professionals representing every branch of the building trade and supported by 400 volunteers.”
Nonetheless, all the hard work and cooperation that Jehovah’s Witnesses put into building their Kingdom Halls is only a foretaste of what occurs inside those halls in the years that follow. There they continue to work hard and cooperate together, organizing their teaching and preaching work and presenting meetings that are upbuilding and educational. Even more important, they endeavor to show the same kind of loving concern for one another that Jesus showed his followers when he was on earth.—John 13:34, 35.
If you have ever seen a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses and have wondered what goes on inside, we warmly invite you to come and see for yourself. We can confidently assure you of a warm welcome and an instructive visit.
Published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
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A quickly built Kingdom Hall in Aurillac, France
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Line drawings: Pharaoh’s ant. Lydekker