Ant Farm 101

Sitting in the Heathrow airport en route to Johannesburg to lecture Seminary students, I thought it might be good to disclose my vision for a course at Seminary that, I believe, is nowhere offered at any major Reformed seminary in America. 

The course would be called "Ant Farm 101". 

Students hoping to become ministers, shepherds of (all types of) God's people, should prove themselves by caring for an ant farm during the course of their studies.

If my "research" is correct, there are several keys to a successful ant farm:

Tip #1 - Water

To give better care to your ants give them a few drops of water every day. Don't make their sand so wet that water pools up on top and they drown in it, but do give them a few drops every day. To give your ants an extra boost of energy and a real treat they will love, mix a pinch of sugar in a teaspoon of water and give it to the ants once a week.

Tip #2 - Food

The best foods for harvester ants are small pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables. Celery, Apple, Lettuce, work real well because they are not real "mushy" and sticky. Don't overfeed the ants. They only need 2 or 3 small pieces every two days. After two days if the food has not been completely eaten remove it. This will keep mold from growing in the habitat that could harm your ants. Another good thing to feed ants is sugar water as in Tip #2.

Tip #3 - Temperature

Temperature is a big factor in how long your ants live. Ants will live longer in a cool room at temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees. Don't keep the ants in a place where they are hit by direct sunlight as this will cause the temperature inside the ant habitat to rise.

So what?

Now imagine a Seminary student was able to keep an ant farm going, with healthy ants, for one semester or one year? I wonder if his ability to one day shepherd souls would not be better as a result of "Ant Farm 101". Caring for "insignificant little creatures" who are entirely dependent upon someone else....

Let's face it, if you can't keep an ant farm alive, by feeding appropriately, how will you keep a congregation alive? And I wonder if some of the students with straight A's might not find their course, "Ant Farm 101", is the only (major?) blip on their otherwise impeccable academic record. 

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pastor Mark Jones once watched some girl's fish for her when she went on holiday, and he killed them within two days by over-feeding them.