The Anteater and the Ant

I would not call myself a fan of The Far Side comic, but I remember one from years back that I still reflect on from time to time[1].

A little ant is standing at his parents’ ant hole, having just arrived home.  He innocently asks something like, “He followed me home; can we keep him?”

His parents’ eyes are bulging out of their heads as they stare up at the creature right behind their son: a looming anteater, smug smile on his face and glare in his eyes.

At first, I saw the cleverness of this and thought it was pretty funny.  But I remember later, even years later, wondering, “Did the anteater eat his family?  Did he eat the little ant who brought him home?”

It was only a cartoon . . . why did it disturb me so much?

I never found rest for my fear of bringing an anteater home until I trusted in the Word of Christ.  In His Word I find the pure Truth about everything.

I don’t have to be afraid of leading an anteater home accidentally, because God’s Word tells me plainly, over and over and over again, what “pets” will destroy my life and my soul.

In Mark 7:1-23, Jesus warned a crowd they were being tricked by their religious leaders into working against God.  He later follows up His warning to His disciples with these words:

“It’s what comes out of a person that makes a person unclean, because it’s from within, from the human heart, that evil thoughts come, as well as sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolish­ness. All these things come from inside and make a person unclean.” (Mark 7:1-23, ISV)

God teaches us what the anteaters are, so we won’t bring them home to suck out every bit of our goodness from our lives.  I pray we listen to His mercy,  so that we don’t wait until after death to find out the true nature of the pet we led home.

Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8, GW)


[1] I couldn’t find the actual comic, though I could find a few allusions to it on the internet.  Gary Larson is the artist of Far-Side.  I saw this comic many years ago and may have paraphrased the actual words of the comic.

Photograph by Jeff Kubina, profile on

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.


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