Monday, April 23, 2012

Ant power

There’s probably no better way to learn something than to teach it (other than falling flat on your face in front of the person you were most hoping to impress). So as my memoir class and I explore what our stories are really about, I ask myself “So what? What’s the story?” as I think of a funny anecdote, or a news headline, or even a scene that captures my attention.

Like this picture I took while my husband, pooch, and I were doing our daily doggie/owner health trip around the track. I keep coming back to it, wanting to draw wisdom, or life lesson, or something cosmically profound.

But it is in fact, simply an ant hole bursting through a paved walkway.

Beautiful in symmetry, I think. Rose-colored South Carolina clay mounded on asphalt. Maybe that’s reason enough to share it, but I, the forever lesson-maker, want to make something more.

I look up Scriptures referring to ants: Proverbs 30:25 says they are small but exceedingly wise because they use the bounty of the summer to keep them during the winter. Proverbs 6:6, curiously enough, uses the word wise again, telling us to look to them and be wise. I file the word “wise” and note the admonition to prepare and be good stewards.

I try the Internet: Ants. The largest around 11/2 inches; the smallest, a dash called the thief ant because it steals others’ larvae and food to feed its own. Impressive info; I move on. Ants are strong and can run fast. In comparison, if I had ant power, I could lift a car and outrun a racehorse. Amazing. Yet when you look at one of those little buggers (insects really) you can’t see the strength and power contained in that tiny body.

The thought of such marvels always brings me back to God. I think of how much strength He has put in the human will—attested to by the thousands of stories of endurance and survival over incredible odds. But even more than that—the power God says we have because of his spirit in us.

We don’t always grasp that so well. We know God says it. We memorize the verses:  Now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory . . .” but all we see is the little ant with its six skinny legs.

And then, there are those days when we are stopped in our tracks by a tidy tunnel of dirt bursting through the pavement, and we remember—God always makes a way. Sometimes it is just a sliver of a crack in the darkness, but it is enough.

How great you are my God. You are beyond understanding. Many are the wonders you have done so that men would seek you.

I glory in your holy name; I will seek you and your strength. I will seek your face and remember the wonderful works you have done.—1Chronicles 16:10-12
Thank you for stopping by. May you see glorious reminders of his presence this day.


  1. Marica, that's a beautiful illustration. Thanks for the reminder that God always leaves a sliver of hope in the darkness.

  2. This is one of my favorite posts you've shared -- and that's saying something because I love them all. I too love the reminder that God leaves a sliver of hope in the darkness...and how that's enough. Wow.

  3. "Sometimes it is just a sliver of a crack in the darkness, but it is enough." Yes, His slivers provide more than we need. I am clinging to this at this moment. The darkness is threatening to overwhelm me, but I am clinging to His promises, the sliver - and it is enough. Beautiful post, Marcia. I hung on every word.


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