Few years ago, I read a book by Jesse Duplantis – read the book and listened to his sermon on the same title – the title was “Close Encounters of the God-kind”. He detailed and chronicled the experience he had on his numerous visits to Heaven. You see, Jesse is a willy old charismatic preacher so you can bet that I enjoyed listening to the sermon more than I enjoyed reading the book.
However, something struck me during that period – I was highly impressed with how he recreated the divine scenarios he had experienced and also how he related those experiences to seemingly mundane and trivial everyday life experience here on earth.
Before Jesse, I never really paid attention to stories of people who went to Heaven only to come back and try to coerce people out of fear to live for God, it doesn’t work that way, but I was drawn to Jesse’s version of events and led to believe them, simply because there was a lesson in there for me!
I want to follow Jesse’s example in talking about the various encounters I’ve had in the last couple of months. You see I’ve met different people under different scenarios, and I’d try to relate some of these encounters to a general allusion.
I look back at my life and see how far God has brought, and I see how every new phase of growth in my life has been distinguished by the kind of interactions I indulge in. I have never been one to have numerous friends. You know, I still don’t know how people do it. I’m not your guy for the long term or after party. I am still trying to come to terms with the concept of sharing your life with people, it got me really worried at some point until I had an epiphany – people will fulfil their mandate in your life with or without your help.
The people who are meant to stay in your life do not need your help – you play no part in orchestrating it. The people who leave, left for the same reason, they had played their part, and their business was done. No sentiments. I look back at the people in my life right now and I don’t think I’ve played any conscious part in them staying. I’d more likely give you more reasons to leave rather than stay.
I wish people would stop whining about their interactions with people. What I have come to understand is that people are in your life for a reason and season – it is your duty to find out what their role is while they remain, not your duty to make them stay. People who would stay will stay, those leaving, will. You’d hate yourself if you ever had to lower your standards or give up your comfort just to prolong the exit of a bystander in your life, you’d be worse off.
The things we go through in life aren’t meant to be reproduced in a soap opera, there are lessons in even the mundane things we experience. If you don’t figure out what the lesson(s) is, you’d keep running round circles. What are the current encounters you’ve had in recent times? Can you point out the inherent lessons that were for you? Jesse Duplantis wrote a whole book from encounters, can you even write half a book on the encounters you’ve had in a life time?
That guy you met last week; you guys are buddies now, but to what end? What role is he playing in your life? Quit letting bystanders take centre stage in your life, quit incurring losses all because you want to have people in your life. I’ve studied people who know so many people – it came effortlessly, on its own. Life is not LinkedIn where you can wake up one morning and set up a connections target for the day to increase your connections. In the real-life version, you don’t increase your connections by tapping the button. Rather, you increase your connections by staying true to yourself. I remember when we were derided in high school for not being promiscuous, they kept trying to make up believe that we would be disadvantaged in the real world when it came to choosing partners as we had not been well versed in the art of “toasting”. That’s a big lie, the things that are meant to come your way in life come not because you went after it, but because you stayed true to form and it was easy to locate you! Stay true to form, do not be distorted because you want to fit in. Any success you get from otherwise, will only be short-term.