Updated: Nov 9, 2020
YOUR physical location
"...He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live..." Acts 17:26
A unique thought popped into my mind in regards to a person who influenced my life greatly while I lived in a 'retirement town' with merely 3000 people back in the day.
I moved from the city to Stilbaai with my family in my final year of high school. The following year I joined a Bible study group "with a bunch of old ladies" They were not much liked by the traditional church, who in that same year kicked me out too because of my adult (Acts 2:38) baptism.
I was by far the youngest in the group. Most of the ladies where in their 40 and 50's - roughly the age I am today. Little did I know that the group leader would 1. introduce me to YWAM, 2. disciple me on topics through the years that, more than two decades later I would bump into in my Masters Program... 3. and that this woman would still have significant impact in my life years later... 4. and that she would have an international ministry. (She lives overseas now).
Who would have known this back in 1996?
Surely not Stilbaai...
Does world influencers come from little peaceful corners of the world like Stilbaai? No - they retire here. There is a joke in Stilbaai: "How do you make a small fortune here? You come with a big one and make it small" Most people simply struggle to make a living in this place where you are one of the lucky ones if you receive a salary over R4 000 pm.
Never the less, this morning in prayer I felt a question pop into my spirit.
"Do you believe
I (God) have world influencers
here in Stilbaai
that you could disciple
like I did with you through a current world influencer?"
Will God use me in this 'insignificant' town? No town on this planet is insignificant. Where there are people, there is the Image of God, and there...
the times set for them
and the exact places
where they should live..."
"...God did this so that men would
reach out for him
and find him..." Acts 17:26
- Lord, what good work do you have for me where I live?
(Ep2:10 - we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)
Connection is also a brain function
Not simply a spiritual connection!
Food for thought: if you have a continuous disconnect with the Lord, you might experience a "roadblock" between him and you. Check your relational circuit. Connection is also a brain function - not simply a spiritual connection! There is hope if you struggle. You can switch it on! How can you do this? By practicing thanks and gratefulness towards him before you continue with any other prayer.
Karl Lehman explains how God has actually designed specific circuits in our biological brains to serve our longing and need for relationship. Dr. Lehman has termed this part of the brain the Relational Circuits (RCs) (Lehman, 2011). The Relational Circuits are the part of the brain that helps us to recognize that we have a need to build relationships by connecting and interacting with God and with others.
The central segment of the relational circuits is the same cingulate cortex system that creates mutual-mind states and thought poetry. Relational Circuits are very much like our visual circuits. When we close our eyes, we cannot see anything. Or, think of Relational Circuits like a light switch. If we turn off the light switch in a room, we might not be able to see things as clearly as we did when the lights were on.
When our Relational Circuits are “off,”
it is difficult to relate to others,
The obvious first step for interacting with God
is to make sure our Relational Circuits are on.
Our RCs allow us to perceive God’s interest in us.
When our Relational Circuits are “on,” our natural desire is to connect and interact with people and God because we naturally want to participate in giving and receiving life and love and we value our relationships, whether we are in joy or in pain. The activation of trauma-based feelings of being alone and in pain can turn off our Relational Circuits. The sudden blackout explains why we are sometimes unable to perceive Immanuel.
God is always here to interact with us during times of pain, but our iSight may be switched off. Karl Lehman uses an analogy of the ATM machine in relation to our RCs to help us understand this concept. When an ATM machine is out of order, we cannot access our own money in the bank. When our RCs are off, it becomes very difficult for us to access the memory bank of who Jesus (or anyone) has been to us.
This metaphor helps us understand why we have a difficult time interacting with God when we are in pain even though Immanuel never leaves or stops wanting to interact with us. It is in our best interest to make sure that we are living our lives with our RCs on. With our brain operating correctly, we are able to experience God’s involved presence and appreciate other people in our lives. Wilder, E. James. Joyful Journey: Listening to Immanuel . Life Model Works. Kindle Edition.
Finally... I have SA insurance... but I learned something:
Me: Sir, I have had medical insurance for 10 years.
Consultant: "Sorry mam, you have been with medical insurance, not medical aid"
Me: So... what is the difference?
Consultant: "Sorry mam, your age means we have to penalize you"
Me: So... you ignore that I have paid for the last 10 years, regardless...
Me: My medical insurance have a service provider in South Africa...
Consultant: "Sorry mam...I cannot help you."
THEN I PHONED ANOTHER COMPANY
They ask me: "Why does Discovery penalize people on their age if you had insurance for over 10 years?"
Me: You don't penalize me for trying to get insurance with you? You take me in at 44 without a blink... thanks Bonitas!
Talent-Trust, I will surely miss your excellent oversees services.
This was one of those "re-entry moments" when you try to get back to normality of what was 'normal' overseas but seems quite impossible in your own nation unless you... fill in the blank.
Life is ZOOM-ing normal like clock work online.