Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2019 Proverbs 6:6.

Proverbs 6:6.    ​​Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
 

On Safari…On Safari mih people! Yes friends, the ole fella is not lost, but is on safari in the northern part of South Africa! Ah Lord eh! What an experience! But a rather interesting one! And the reason you have not heard from me in the last two days is because the River Lodge where I’m staying, in the back of nowhere, has lost its Wi-Fi and thus I could not connect to the internet. In fact, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, sitting out on my porch, overlooking a li’l slowly moving stream and listening to some bird call to its mate, I still cannot connect to the internet, but I can’t wait any longer to do my do, else I might just forget what happened.

 Now this is Saturday’s Bit, and since I have no Wi-Fi, I can’t get to our friend Anselm’s quotes to include them. So everything will just have to be about what happened on Saturday. Well it began about nine thirty on Saturday morning. After signing out of the hotel, the duchess, my young daughter and I headed for the Madikwe Game Reserve eve in a chartered van. And was it ever a long drive, but on good highways and secondary roads…that is except for the last 25 kilometers or so, when we encountered mostly unpaved roads. 

And was the ride ever bumpy…and did the van ever make a racket on those roads. But we persevered. (smile) And it’s a good thing that our driver was an old pro at getting us to our destination, because it was some five and a half hours after leaving Joburg, after many twists and turns, that we arrived at the River Lodge on the Madikwe Reserve. 

However, soon after we entered the reserve we were greeted by some animals: a couple of wildebeests standing under a shade tree down to the left, then closer to us, a group of elephants, their grey skin looking tough like leather, and also some zebras emblazoned with their beautiful black stripes, drinking at what looked like a man made waterhole. But they did not pay us much attention as they are quite accustomed to seeing vehicles going by. Along the way, we also saw some giraffe with their long necks and legs, munching leaves off the highest part of the trees. They look rather ungainly, but they can move just a quickly as you please! 

Oh I forgot to mention that it was a hot day, with temps getting up into the low 30’s. But the cool breeze that wafted from the mountains made it bearable. And since South Africa is just coming out of their dry winter, the landscape is dry and desert-like, with not as much greenery as one would expect. The first highlight of the day though happened before we even got to the lodge. A little further on from where we spotted the first group of elephants, we saw another group, this time apparently playing in a natural mud hole. 

We stopped for a few moments to take them in, and just then this big old fella decided to leave the group and walk towards us, not menacingly, but nonetheless in our direction. Just before he got to the foot of a small incline that led up to the road, he stopped, raised his head and looked at us. Our driver Ian, a thirty-something white, male South African took this as a signal that he wanted to cross the road. So we just stood there. And when he realized that it was all coasts clear, he slowly ambled up the incline and casually crossed the road at his own slow speed and went about his business. It certainly would not have been wise to provoke the old gentleman, because he could have easily turned us over with a swipe of his trunk, or even worse if he caused the herd to stampede. 

By the time we arrived at the lodge it was minutes to three and were warmly greeted by the staff. Then we hustled off to our chalets, basically a small all in one rustic abode, but nonetheless quite comfortable with all the amenities of home. We were instructed to hustle back for lunch, and after lunch, we were told about coming back for high tea at four, and then we’d be on our first safari run at 4.30. Obviously none of us made it back for high tea, and just in time to get on the open Toyota Land Cruiser with a couple of other white males, in what turned out to be the more than capable hands of Fortune, a big, but cheerful black gentleman. 

And yuh should see the ole fella sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, next to the driver, with his most appropriate safari hat on, with its chin strap and everything! (smile) I don’t like hats, but it was necessary since the sun was out in full force and there was only a slight overhang from the roof of the passenger compartment to the back where the others sat, high above us. Now there are some man made dirt tracks in the area, but other than that you have to make your way through the bush, the thickets of thorn bushes and otherwise. I don’t remember what animals we saw early on in our trek, but the second highlight of the day was when we came upon a dead impala in a thicket of bushes…Oh yeah, we saw some of those too! (smile) 

Fortune said it was a female, and that it’s killer was a cheetah, lying right close to it. But I just could not see it, until he moved the cruiser, because a small shrub hid it from me. And there he, or she, was in all their black and white spotted glory, lying quietly, gazing at the mouth-watering prey, that had already been tasted as the gaping bloody hole in the impala’s stomach indicated. After a few minutes, the cheetah quietly returned to its prey and continued feeding from it’s entrails, raising up its head and looking around every couple of bites to make sure no other predators were coming to deprive him or her of their meal. 

And all of this was happening while three land cruisers, two from other lodges and us, just sat there quietly and watched. That’s because, as I mentioned earlier, the animals are accustomed seeing the vehicles and know that they are not a threat. That’s also why you are advised not to stand up in the vehicles around the animals, or make any sort of provoking noises or actions. Oh, and I just remembered my favourite sight, the ant or termite hills. Brother, some of them are so large, three to four feet in height, and they seem to just take over the shrubs around which they set up shop. And according to Fortune, the above ground section is four times smaller than what’s below ground! And in our youth, we taught our li’l ant’s nest was so wonderful! (smile) 

And that’s why Cousin Sol chose the ant as an example of focused action and productivity. In his warning against idleness and falsehood, he wisely advises: ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide (leader), overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat (food) in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.’ (Prov.6:6-8) Now that is not totally true, because there apparently is a king and queen of each nest, but their respective jobs are just to reproduce, while the workers work; building and harvesting, and the soldiers protect the nest. 

However, what Cousin Sol is really trying to say, is found in the scholar’s explanation. ‘6:6-11. The sluggard is the habitually lazy person. He is admonished to learn two important lessons from the ant: (1) the ant has no guide, overseer or ruler (v.7), meaning that the ant does not have to have a taskmaster standing over it to make it work; it is a self-starter. (2) The ant is wise enough to prepare for predictable circumstances (v.8).’ Oh my friends, how I wish that was truer of us, especially we believers! Because we can too often be a lazy, self-centred lot, not willing, able and active enough in spreading God’s Word and living a life that will attract others to him. 

Please, let’s try and do better nuh, it’s not only in Christ’s best interest, but also in ours, for, come that fateful day, when He asks us why we wasted our time and didn’t use the talents He so generously gave us, what’s going to be our answer eh? There’ll be no time for excuses nuh, so let’s be like the ant and do better nuh. But turning back to our safari, when the night fell, a beautiful full moon came out and graced the area. Fortune also took out a hand-held spotlight and shone it from side to side, while driving in and out of the thickets with one hand. I don’t remember what we saw then, if anything, but we did not get back to the Lodge until minutes to eight. 

Oh, one time we stopped in the bush for about fifteen minutes, had some drinks, dried fruit and biltong (like beef jerky). And the last highlight of the day was during dinner, which was served soon after we got back. The whole group of employees, about ten, came into the dining room dancing and stomping, while singing and chanting the ‘Happy Birthday Song’ in an African tongue. That was in honour of a one year old baby belonging to the other guests, and also to my young daughter. They put on quite show of singing and dancing…and we also had birthday cake for the birthday people. 

It’s after that I got the bad news that the Wi-Fi wasn’t working so I could not write the Bit. I just had come home and fall into bed, and was I ever glad deep down, because I was, as they say, ‘tired like hell!’ And I had to get up and be ready for five thirty to go out on safari again! And that’s how my Saturday was spent! (smile) Much LOVE!

…there is joy and adventure in life…but one has to diligently work at life…not be a sluggard…to reap those enjoyable benefits…  

P.S. Yeah, it long, and late, but it sweet nuh! (smile) And I still don’t know when I’m going to get it to you. Much LOVE!

 

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