God’s Monkeysphere

God's Monkeysphere

In order to grow your monkey sphere you must make it smaller.monkey-stare

That was the gist of my message this past Sunday.  Pastor Collin Grimm introduced the monkey sphere idea to me.  So, what is a monkey sphere?  A monkey sphere is the group of individuals who each of us are predisposed to conceptualize as people.  Scientists studied the size of primate brains and eventually could predict the size of troupes they would form.

For humans, the size of our brains indicate that our sphere of individuals that we care about is about 150.  Facebook may say you have over a 1000 friends, but truth be told you have a fondness/tenderness/worry for only about a tenth of those.

So how big is God’s monkey sphere?  Well, John 3:16 tells us it is the size of the earth and encompasses all of humanity throughout all of time.  That number is estimated at around 108 billion people.  Wow!  He has a fondness/tenderness/worry for 108 billion individuals.

Yet, in a sea of 108 billion individuals how can God know who I am? child-hiding That’s the feeling many people have.  This past Sunday we looked at the encounter Jairus and a nameless lady had with Jesus.  In the mob of people, Jesus shrunk his monkey sphere down to one – the person right in front of him – first Jairus and then the lady whose name history does not record.  I guarantee you though, that God knew her name.

That’s the perspective we can have.  In a sea of 7 billion people currently living, God shrinks his monkey sphere down to you.  Just you.  You have his undivided attention – any time, all the time.

I hear you protest, “How can he do that?  It seems impossible!”  Well, I don’t quite understand it but it has to do with him being infinite.  His presence never ends.  It’s a math thing so go ask your math professor.  I’ve spent many a brain cell trying to comprehend it and I still don’t quite grasp it.

But even if we can’t understand it completely God still establishes the truth of it.  David acquiesced:

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?

    to be out of your sight?

If I climb to the sky, you’re there!

    If I go underground, you’re there!

If I flew on morning’s wings

    to the far western horizon,

You’d find me in a minute—

    you’re already there waiting!

Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!

    At night I’m immersed in the light!”

It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;

    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Further, you had God’s undivided attention even before you saw daylight:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

    you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!

    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

    I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out,

    you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared

    before I’d even lived one day.

(Psalm 139)


Whatever you may be going through, however distant God may feel, however fragile your faith, however opaque the doubt you are peering through, God knows your name.  He knows who you are and what you are enduring.  You have his undivided attention.

His monkey sphere has always been one.  Just one.  You.

mothers attention


Recommended Posts