Have you ever seen the movie “the butterfly effect”? It’s a bit of a dumb question because I haven’t seen it… but I did see the ad! that movie ad introduced me to the butterfly effect theory. Basically, it says that one small thing results in something huge. the reason it’s called the butterfly effect is because it was hypothesised that a hurricane can be traced back to a butterfly flapping its wings in a far off place several weeks before. It’s a pretty awesome theory if you think about it – I mean, just consider how many butterflies there are! Maybe, if you step on one, it will throw off the whole world’s equilibrium! maybe it’s just me… but I ain’t standin’ on no more butterflies!
Anyway, I was sitting in a conference recently and heard someone talking about butterflies. And because my brain works in strange and mysterious ways, I started to think of the butterfly effect and how his story about butterflies affected my views on the butterfly effect. And here is the awesome thing that I discovered: as cool and monumental as the butterfly effect is, the “Christian Butterfly Effect” is about a million times cooler!
If a butterfly could change weather and nature, could a Christian change society and culture? After all, they are both guided by the same God…
Think about the impact that a single Christian could make on society if this is true! A choice that I make today could alter the course of another person’s life, maybe multiple people’s lives. Having written a church history exam this morning, I have a fresh perspective of the impact of specific Christians. Without Calvin, a lot of our reformation may never have happened. Were it not for Elizabeth (bloody Mary’s heir) we may still be fighting it out between the Catholics and Protestants.
We all like to think we can make a difference. We base life choices around making a difference – what am I good at? Where can I excel? Who should I work with? We look up to people like Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela and, dare I say it? George Clooney. Why? Because all of them have been influential. All of these people have changed lives.
But the multiple people’s lives who were touched by Mother Theresa were still individuals. Nelson Mandela saw people and not simply a country. The great thing about Christianity is that it’s all about the people. Love for one another. A choice made today could impact the person next to you. Tomorrow, that person could impact someone else. And with each new act of deliberate godliness, the impulses will start to create ripples that cannot be stopped.
If we properly believe in God’s ability and strength, we should believe that the smallest of deeds done in faith could have momentous outcomes. One life saved all, but your life could be the beam directing people to safety.
So I ask you, if you knew your life would make a difference through every small action, what would you change? Could you keep living the way you’re living now, knowing that each step could be changing something? If you truly believe you can make a difference and honestly want to make one, what does that mean for the life you have now – your actions, choices, and decisions?
Spend a day in that Butterfly’s shoes. It may only live a day, but it could cause a hurricane. What are you doing with your day?