I am thrilled to learn from the BBC that elephants are afraid of ants. In my limited knowledge of these giants, I always thought that elephants were afraid of mice. However, the truth is far from what is fable.
Elephants are very destructive and tend to destroy many trees whenever they feed on them. With the increase in elephant population, forests have been greatly affected by their extensive feeding. They strip off their barks and even uproot them.
In East Africa, there is a species of acacia tree that protects itself by having a symbiotic relationship with ants. This tree provides its branches that serve as homes and shelters for these acacia ants. Apart from that, the plant also produces nectar that helps feed these ants. Thus, when any part of the tree is disturbed, the ants will swarm to protect that part.
The researchers from American universities notice that elephants are very wary about being bitten on the soft undersides of their trunks. When they smell the ants, they will just move away from the tree. In other studies, the researchers also discovered that elephants are afraid of bees too. Whenever they hear the buzzing sound of bees, they will move away to avoid being stung.
Apart from using ants as natural allies to protect farm crops, what can we learn from this research?
To me, this is a good illusion for church unity. A single ant can do nothing. However, when united, the ants can stop elephants from invading their homes and source of food.No matter how small we are, when we are united, we can stand even against giants.
Unity is most important to the modern Church. We are thus encouraged to "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3)."
Paul the Apostle is clear about how unity can be achieved, "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity (Colossians 3:14)."
Finally, let us be reminded by another of Paul's admonitions - "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).
Let's stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together, by so doing, we can stand against and even chase giants!