“Observe the ant”, the great Oriental conqueror Tamerlane told his friends. In relating a story from his early life, he said “I once was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a dilapidated building, where I sat alone for many hours. Wishing to divert my mind from my hopeless situation, I fixed my eyes on an ant carrying a kernel of corn larger than itself up a high wall. I counted its attempts to accomplish this feat. The corn fell sixty-nine times to the ground, but the insect persevered. The seventieth time it reached the top. The ant’s accomplishment gave me courage for the moment, and I never forgot the lesson.” (An excerpt taken from the daily devotional “Streams In The Desert”)
I found this short story quite inspirational because of the great feat I’ve been working on accomplishing for more than five years now. The kernel of corn I’ve been repeatedly trying to carry over a high wall in my own life is the work I’ve been doing to become much healthier in my mind, body, and soul, given how unhealthy I became after living for several decades, and frankly, for several lifetimes as well, in toxic addictions and behaviors. At this point, I’ve lost track of the number of attempts I’ve made to achieve this goal, yet I haven’t given up. I’m sure many in my shoes probably would have long ago, as this world often makes it far easier to give up on achieving something than to persevere through it. I believe the only reason why I’ve made it thus far and continue to keep picking up this kernel of corn for another repeated attempt to become healthier is directly related to the blind faith and trust I still have in God. As through them, I’ve found enough strength and resolve, just like an ant, to keep going and to keep persevering for one more day. And I wholeheartedly believe that because of my faith and trust in God, I’ll eventually achieve this arduous task and carry this kernel of corn to where God always intended for it to be.
Thank You, God, for the level of persistence and perseverance You’ve given me to overcome so many obstacles I’ve had to face in life. Having this strength has helped me to keep going, especially through all the suffering I’ve had to endure in recent years. While my mind has become weary of continuing to pick up this kernel of corn day after day for as long as I have, my Spirit remains resilient to keep trying. And that alone is precisely what makes me just like an ant, a creature who never stops trying until it achieves the feat it sets out to accomplish.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson