Today I took the completed Marriage Register to the Department of Home Affairs in the City Center. Everyone is supposed to stand on the “social distancing lines” to create the 1.5 meter gap between each other. This does not work. An official comes and questions why you need to be there. After explaining, I was ushered into the building where I completed a form, had my hands sanitized and went off to the second floor. Soon, a lady employee arrived, listened to my story, took my register book and returned after a few minutes, saying I needed to provide the ID documents of the witnesses at the marriage.
In all my preparations for the marriage, I neglected to obtain these. Before I returned home, I made one phone call. Shortly after returning home, both documents were emailed to me. Before I left home affairs, the employee said I need not go through all the questioning and completing documents at the entrance; I could come straight up to her. The man in charge of the parking lot permitted me to park there again without charge. After I returned, I waited for about 10 minutes, the documentation was looked over, my register was returned to me and I was off on my way home.
A little later, I found another email from a woodwork guru I subscribe to. In this mail, they were advertising a “make it yourself” CNC wood router engraver. The idea is, you purchase the CD and manual for about $40 and therein it explains how to make your own machine for about $500 (around R9180). I shared this with Roy, our son-in-law. He did a little investigation and found you could purchase the ready-made machine for R4080. What is surprising is that in the advertisement they do not openly expose the cost of the parts needed to make the machine. It’s tucked away subtly!
How often do we get caught by the fine print of a product or agreement we don’t read? We are rushed to sign without given the opportunity to read the fine print. This for example happened to me a few months ago when I opened a savings account at a bank. Equally confusing is the rigmarole one needs to go through to claim from the unemployment fund. After paying taxes and UIF for 55 years, on retirement we can claim UIF for 3 months. Jenny and I have been battling since February to get matters sorted. A month back, mine was approved but Jenny, although registered on the system, contains no data. We handed all information for both of us to the same person on the same day. Today, I receive an SMS saying they still require certain documentation.
Regarding the CD and manual for the wood router, I had Roy to bounce it off. I could have spent $40 plus shipping and never used it because of the cost of the material. In life, it is necessary to have someone trustworthy to bounce things off simply because we as individuals do not know everything. That is actually Biblical, for we read in Proverbs:
Pr 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Godly counsel is an important interaction between members of the Body of Christ. How often have you neglected this and found things going wrong in a purchase, an arrangement, an agreement or a decision? Each member of the Body of Christ ought to have at least one trusted confidant to bounce things off and receive counsel when needed. This does not just mean in spiritual matters. Look how Roy helped me with a practical financial matter.
But there is a greater aspect to “bouncing things off” … and that is the Word of God. Naturally, we need to know the Word for the Word to be able to counsel us. Firstly, the Word is trustworthy and dependable:
Ps 119:89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
God’s Word never changes. It is always the same. This is what makes the Word trustworthy and dependable.
Secondly, once you know the Word through use, you will find it provides guidance and counsel:
Ps 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Far too often as the children of God, we tend to trust our own ideas and desires before depending upon the sacred, eternal Word for wisdom and insight. This is why we tend to “go off the pathway” and make mistakes, wrong choices and sin. Thirdly, God’s Word guides and teaches, causing the serious believer to “hope” in God all the time … meaning, trust God for counsel and guidance:
Ps 25:5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
It’s always good to bounce matter off trusted brothers or sisters in Christ, for through this we learn, mature and are assisted to navigate our choices with greater clarity … but the greatest help comes from the Word of God. Read it. Meditate upon it. Apply what you learn, because it is knowing the Word that gives you counsel when in need.
We have a clock hanging on our kitchen wall. It has a wooden face and looks fit for the kitchen. Yet recently, I found the clock is not giving the correct time. It’s at least 30 minutes slow. It’s not working like “clockwork”. That, to me, seems how the UIF department is working, yet the Home Affairs department is working like “clockwork”. When you use the Word correctly and prayerfully in dependence and faith, things come together like clockwork!
Dear God, Thank You for Your Word that lights up counsel in my heart. Thank you also for Christian confidants who share wisdom into my life, showing me how to be protected from making wrong choices. Amen.