Power, & Power

South Africa is experiencing rolling blackouts due to some power issues. apparently we are unable to provide our citizens with the electrical power they need, & the blame for this has been passed onto various representatives of Power.

Some blame the current powers (Zuma & co.), Zuma blames the powers of Apartheid & even Jan van Riebeek. the blame shifting is enough to remind me of Genesis 3, when Adam blamed Eve, who blamed the snake & even God himself (not that van Riebeek deserves to be likened to God). But ultimately, there are more personal issues relating to power & electricity that we can (& should address as individuals).

It is easy to be bitter & complaining about the loss of electricity (& even the power you attribute this loss to), but is this our best response?

Here’s a little humour to help us gain perspective: Ag Please Eskom, but the Nixter & the Horns (for more info on them click here).

The fact about bitterness & moaning that we usually choose ignore is that it exerts a desrtuctive power over our lives. In this way we are giving Eskom (etc.) power over us for (ironically) not providing us with power (electricity). How can we empower ourselves instead?

Well, we could make ourselves less dependent upon Eskom for a start. our geysers are solar (& being a good system using SA sun) so that we only use grid electricity to top up our hot water 3-4 months a year (& then only for 1 hr a day), our gas stove only needs electricity for the spark (so I have matches for back up) & we have a whistling kettle for the stove top. Really, the black-outs only really affect us in terms of lights and our fixed internet connection (we don’t really bother with TV). But we could still do more to go off grid if we wanted to. There is however an entirely different way to approach this though. The above video hint at it quite wittily when the husband complains that the lack of light is making his wife look pretty…

Yes, these outages are inexcusable (& currently inevitable), but they are possibly the blessing many of us need today. It gives us a chance to examine ourselves & reassess our relationships. For many of us, our lives are so busy and techno-focused, that we seldom (if ever) take time for this very important consideration unless we are prompted by something like a power outage. Next time your lights go out, instead of saying “o poep” (or stronger equivalent), may I suggest we ask ourselves the following three questions about our relationships:

1) How can I use this time to work on my relationship with God?

2) How can I use this time to work on my relationship with my loved ones, colleagues or the people around me?

3) What can I learn from this, to improve my relationship with the world around me (God’s creation)?

And I challenge you to share some of your answers/ideas. To get you started though, here are some of the more obvious answers.

3) Use less electricity in general, & become less dependent upon fossil fuel (& even nuclear) made power. Regardless of your thoughts on global warming etc., the Lord made us to be His stewards over the earth, and we’re surrounded with evidence of our failure to take this responsibility seriously. If I had such careless stewards ‘caring’ for what is mine, I’d not only get rid of them, I’d sue them too.

2) Talk to people. Talking to someone, even in the dark, is much more personal than email, whatsapp, and SMS… I was recently talking to a friend who had a long distance relationship with her husband before their marriage, and she mentioned that most of their relationship troubles had been directly attributable to misunderstandings caused by the above communication methods. Moreover, relationships and connections between people are part of God’s plan for us, just as relationship is an integral part of the God-head due to the Trinity.

1) and last, but not least… spend time with God. if you have a smart phone or tablet, get the Bible for it so you can read it in the dark. And of coarse there is prayer, which not only does not need electricity or light, but it is aided by the silence and lack of interruption often caused by power outages.

So, if you’re in SA, please look up your scheduled black out, prepare for it, and use it for the things that really count! lets see it as a regular opportunity to focus on what really counts.

(please remember to share your ideas, thanks)

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