St Edmund's Episcopal Church San Marino

STEDY, May 17, 2017

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you
wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands.
Judges 7:7

So many of the stereotypes we struggle to shake can be traced back to good old Disney. Despite what we saw in beloved childhood movies, we have had to relearn that Native Americans don’t actually have red skin, glass is never a good idea for footwear, carpets are not seen as legitimate forms of transportation in the Middle East and women don’t have to give up their voice in order to find true love. While you’re correcting beliefs learned in early childhood, here’s one more item to correct: elephants aren’t not scared of mice. It was cute in “Dumbo” to see a massive creature terrified by something it could crush with one stomp and while scientists know this to be far from true they have recently discovered elephants to be tormented by something even smaller. Researchers living in the African savanna have discovered that elephants are terrified of ants.
The research started when researched noted elephants avoiding certain trees that they had previously enjoyed eating. On closer inspection it was found that these trees were infested with tiny ants who enjoy crawling up and inside an elephant’s very sensitive trunk. Unable to shake, scratch or pick them out, the swarm of ants torture the elephants and therefore cause them to avoid anything in which ants may be present. Inadvertently the ants provide great protection for certain plants and trees previously trampled or devoured by elephants. Ants that weigh about 5 mg are protecting trees against creatures billions times more massive and in so doing are protect the very delicate biosphere in which they live.
Gideon was the youngest, from a tiny family and his tribe was only half the size of the others and he fought the Midianites with only three hundred men. He split his men into groups and at an announced time, they swarmed. Just three hundred men were able to overpower and conquer an army of thousands thereby liberating the Israelites and creating a rather fairy tale ending.