Do you know what an anteater is? Have you seen one? An anteater is a mammal that lives in Africa, Central America, and South America who eats ants and termites. Ants and termites live under ground digging out tunnels and rooms. Termites eat wood and other plants. You can find them in fallen trees and other wood sources. Ants and termites mound up the dirt they have dug, creating a hill. This hill is their nest. Termite hills can become quite tall.
Anteaters use the long tongues to lick up the ants or termites. It only takes a few seconds for their tongues to be covered with insects because their tongues are sticky. Their tongues move in and out of their mouths very rapidly. The anteater avoids getting bit by the ants by staying only a very short time at each nest. Each anteater has to visit around 200 nests each day in order to get enough food.
Anteaters have claws and cannot pick up their young, so the baby sits on its mother’s back until it is old enough to live on its own. They use the claws to dig at the large mounds the termites have made. This will release more termites and they will quickly stick their tongues in.
Babafemi is a giant anteater who lives in Africa. His name means loved by his father and is pronounced, bah-BAH-feh-mee. Babafemi loves to eat ants and termites. He loves them so much it has become a problem. He is what we call a glutton. A glutton is one who eats much more than he should.
Babafemi is always in search of food. He thinks about food all the time. He has mastered the best time of day and the best nests to get the most insects out. He knows how to eat many very fast so he can move to the next nest and so on. All day he is eating. He finally stops when it is too dark to see. If another anteater is ready to stick it’s tongue in a mound, he will shove the anteater aside and get the termites first. He wants all the insects for himself. He dreams about eating. He thinks about it first thing in the morning before the sun comes up. Babafemi has gotten very large.
We were created to burn calories for energy. We get these calories from the food we eat. Each bite of food has calories. Our bodies convert the calories into energy which we burn. Just like a car needs gas to run we need energy to burn. We need the energy to operate our bodies. We use the energy to move our arms, legs, feet, and hands. Our heart needs energy to beat. Our brains need energy to think. We need energy to breathe and pump blood through our veins. We cannot grow unless we have energy to burn. Our bodies need energy to grow our hair and finger nails. It takes energy to digest the food we eat, converting it into the energy we need. Every time you blink you use energy. You are using energy by reading or listening to this story. When we exercise we burn more calories or energy than if we are sitting still.
If we take in more food than we need, our bodies turn it into fat and store it for later. We need fat in our bodies. Every person has fat in their bodies. If there is a day that we don’t get enough calories from our food, then our bodies burn the stored fat. If we frequently eat more than we need and we don’t burn it off, it becomes a problem. If we don’t burn it, our bodies have to change it into fat, storing more and more. We become too large because we have too much fat stored.
Our friend Babafemi has done just that. His body did not need the extra calories from the food he ate. His body did what it should do, changed it into fat, and stored it for later. He kept eating more and more everyday so he didn’t burned the fat that was stored. Now he has a problem. He is so large he has difficulty walking because his joints hurt. His feet and legs hurt. He is carrying around too much weight in stored fat. Instead of weighing less than 100 lbs., he weighs over 180 lbs.
He is over weight because he became a glutton. What do you think Babafemi should do? First, he should stop eating so much. Second, he should start going on walks to burn up more energy. If he does these things his body will start burning the fat he has stored.
God warns us about being a glutton. Proverbs 23:21…the glutton will come to poverty. Proverbs 23:2 Put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Proverbs 28:7b A companion of gluttons shames his father.
It is easy to over eat because food tastes so good. Just like Babafemi loved the taste of ants and termites, we love the taste of our food too. We need to eat only what our bodies need for fuel or energy. We also need to eat food that is healthful to us. Food like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are what is best for our bodies. Cookies, candy, cake, pie, and ice cream have more calories than fruits and vegetables. Eating cookies, candy, cake, pie, or ice cream every day is not the best thing for our bodies. Most drinks we drink contain calories also. Water doesn’t and it is the best for our bodies.
Babafemi is an example we do not want to follow. Let’s make sure we eat right and get plenty of exercise. When we do, we will be happier and healthier.
Memorize: Proverbs 23:21…the glutton will come to poverty.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.