Life is an experience with God (Voice of God)

Life is lived experiences. I experience God through each lived experience. The song “Voice of God” says it well. I can hear the voice of God while I am chilling by the beach listening to the waves of the ocean. I can hear him while walking in the park, oh the joy that he fills me with. I think we often say “my favourite places to escape to are x, y and z” not realising they are our favourites because that’s where we hear and feel God the most. Even a non-believer experiences the same even though they might not believe that it is God, they just know it is something bigger than themselves.

 I experienced God when I was up in the middle of the night working on my research assignment, I had a lot of those moments and I felt humbled, filled with joy and just blessed to feel him in that kind of a moment. It made me realise how indeed he gave us the gifts we have for his glory. When I do public speaking, either giving a speech or a presentation I cannot explain what happens, but a transformation happens. I zone out when I speak, like nothing else exist and my mind is also cleared of all thoughts. It is effortless! God gives us unique gifts and talents and it is sometimes shocking how they manifest. I also experience God when I write about my thoughts or revelations about life’s meaning. I experience God while reading a book and I get a revelation about it and sometimes just listening to a seminar or a sermon at church. I cannot explain the feeling, but it is some sort of way to guide my life’s direction. Music touches my soul, and it is my form of worship and expression of my love for him.

I can feel God when I am sad or about to give up,I feel his words of affirmation or comforting voice. One time in the middle of the night I had sleep paralysis, the worst kind I had ever experienced. I could swear the plan was that as soon as I wake up from the paralysis, I am going to call a friend and go sleep at her house because it was terrifying. But in the middle of it I called out his name, I prayed and when I woke up, I opened Psalm 110 and I was comforted by the scripture. I did not need to go anywhere, I continued to pray until I fell asleep. When I look back at the sad moments I cry because I begin to see how his grace has carried me through. I may not necessarily appreciate it when I am in the desert but when I look back, I am humbled by his grace.

Life is about experiences, every single one of them. I believe in trying out things and living out experiences in batches. My definition of life experiences may be different from yours, but I know the experiences which make me feel my most natural and liberated! I plan to optimise on the experiences which make me feel closer to God, it is my form of worship and intimacy with him.  I want my story to be about the lived experiences and how I have experienced God in the moments. It is such a beautiful thing to have an intimate relationship with God. Even a 600 Km drive can be that moment you need just to be together. He makes me happy!

I have shared a snapshot of how I experience God, as I mature in the spirit the level of intimacy changes, but I hope it speaks to you and encourages you in your faith in God!

Name tags

I was going through some of my old things when I was at home during the holidays when I came across a collection of name tags. One tag on it was Andisani (Degree type), a tag which basically differentiated me from other degree types in said meeting or gathering. Another one, Andisani (Name of University), Andisani (Company 1), and so on. While the feeling was quite nostalgic, and it was great to have kept all those records alive for myself I just wondered what those name tags truly represented. Name tags are given to us so we can represent an institution, an entity or so we can be easily be identifiable or grouped in a certain setting based on characteristics of the holder. Sometimes they can just bear the name of the holder, other times they also specify the designation of the holder or an institution represented, location or country etc.

The name tags I found in my collection made me realise that my entire journey from when I started engaging in extra-curricular activities came with tags. The tags would further segment me into another grouping when I proceeded from say a provincial to a national competition etc. And what that did was define a part of me even if it was for a moment. Other tags defined a part of me for an even longer time as a student belonging to a faculty, a graduate and as a working professional. Do we become boxed within those tags and become unable to think and want to experiment life outside of them? Can I walk in a room and introduce myself as nothing other than what my name tag suggests and truly share the hidden person behind the title without the listener wondering why I am not giving them what they are expecting? Or the conversation may deviate back to, so.. by the way can you tell me more about your line of business?

The problem is, as much as these name tags are meant to identify individuals they can also become our identity. When you go attend a conference as soon as you enter the room and introduce yourself to the next person, firstly whether or not you get approached is determined by what your tag says. Secondly the conversation is already limited to your title . Walking into a women’s conference the first thing I say is how I have often been labelled as, limiting the deep conversations we would have had if it was just a blank page and I was forced to engage at random. The tags can make us judge or only associate with people we believe are “relevant” and the rest are not as important to engage with missing out on engaging with people who are different from us and who might just be the fresh perspective we are looking for.

The labelling as a form of easily identifying us will never stop, which is fair. I mean we have an Identity document and drivers license which we often have to produce when making several applications, collecting parcels etc. When stopped by the police that drivers license which is your unique ID is your life line or death threat depending on your driving behaviour/ history. While we have to continue to have tags we can free our minds to think and explore beyond the words written on our name tags!