There is a parlour game known as, “Six Degrees of Separation.” The premise is that nearly everyone in the world is separated by no more than six acquaintances. Popular adaptations have been “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” where people in Hollywood would see how close an acquaintance the actor Kevin Bacon is to them.
It is interesting how certain social circles lead to acquaintances much more readily than others. But in some situations, I think the separation is a lot closer. Anyone who is from Hawaii can attest to this. It seems that everyone knows everyone and instead of six degrees, it is more like a half degree of separation!
Through the years, I have casually tested this hypothesis by numerous encounters with total strangers from Hawaii. And no matter the generational difference, within two minutes, I would find a common link, with far less than six degrees of separation. The one time it almost seemed to fail was about twelve years ago. I was in a park and playing with my daughter, Malia, who was still a toddler. Another family close by heard me call her name and they came up to me and asked me if I was from Hawaii. The wife had been raised in Hawaii and she was familiar with the name, Malia, which is Hawaiian for Mary. Pleased to find another opportunity to prove my Hawaiian half a degree of separation, I began a series of questions seeking that common link. But to my surprise and dismay, no link was found. Finally after several strained attempts, I was willing to acknowledge that this was my first failure! I shook my head and confessed to her, “I have never failed to find a close connection with anyone from Hawaii. But it looks like this will be the first time.”
The woman also smiled and nodded in agreement. She was also quite surprised since she had noted the same phenomenon. As we began to part, I asked her, “Well what is your last name? Perhaps I will run into someone who knows you.” She smiled and said, “Siddiqui”.
“Siddiqui?” I exclaimed! “Is your father, Dr. Wasim Siddiqui, the renowned expert in malaria vaccine research at the University of Hawaii?”
Her eyes widened with joy! “Yes! You know him?”
“He was one of my microbiology professors in medical school!”
The Hawaiian half a degree of separation; it never fails!
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Galatians 4:6-7 (ESV)
This situation reminds of the closeness that all the members of God’s church experience. No matter the generational or cultural difference, in Jesus Christ, we are all far closer than six degrees, or even half a degree of separation. We are brothers and sisters, co-heirs to God’s blessings and adopted into His family.
And when we die and leave this earth, we will be reunited with other believers in Christ. No further separations, only the confirmation and assurance that God will keep His promise to us through accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.