The Butterfly Effect

by Rhea Beaudry, Guest Blogger

Due to computer difficulties, Pastor Paul Owens’ guest message will appear next week.

EVERYTHING YOU DO MATTERS,
EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE,
EVERY ACTION YOU TAKE…
MATTERS
not just to YOU,
or your FAMILY,
or your BUSINESS
or HOMETOWN.
Everything you do matters
TO ALL OF US
FOREVER.
 (Andy Andrews, The Butterly Effect.)

Recently my husband and I attended the wedding reception of our nephew and noted that it was a very deeply spiritual experience. We were seated at a round table with our daughter Sara and her husband Gary. Sara was positioned so that she could perfectly view her uncle Ken, father of the groom, as he led a prayer and made a few comments which reflected his strong Christian beliefs.  As the meal progressed she shared something with me that has had a profound effect upon me. She said, “Mom, if it weren’t for you, none of our relatives would know the Lord, and we would not just have witnessed the most beautiful Christ-centered wedding we had ever seen.”

I looked at her in surprise, and asked her what she could possibly mean by that!

She said, “Mom, you were first. You were the first in our family group to make the momentous choice to follow Christ and accept His gift of salvation by faith. Because of your brave choice we were set free from spiritual death!”

I immediately was taken back to the scene in my living room where I had sat and devoured the book that our neighbor Dana had given me to read, The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. Over the hanging of Sara’s cloth diapers on the clothesline in the back yard, Dana had conversed with me and suggested I read this book since I had expressed an interest in prophecy. (Little did she know that it was certainly not biblical prophecy that had held my interest but occult prophecy, from which I had to be delivered later.) I had never heard of the things mentioned in this book or in the Bible revealing the rapture, tribulation and second coming of Christ. I was fascinated, intrigued, and extremely frightened by what I read, and when I came to the sinner’s prayer in the end of the book, I prayed it with all my heart. My avid Bible reading and study, frequent trips to the house next door, and new-found fellowship in a ladies’ prayer group all contributed to a rapid period of discipleship and growth. I excitedly shared all I had received with my husband, and at first he was very resistant. But some months later, he accepted the Lord Jesus as his savior. Rapidly summarizing the next very intense portion of our lives, we were filled with the Holy Spirit, and given boldness to share with our family members; and so it was that over time, almost all of them came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Our parents were very unhappy with this turn of events, and very resistant to our sharing at first, but by the time they passed from this life, all four had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, even while retaining some of the confusion of their indoctrinated religious beliefs. I picture them in Heaven now, saying, “Now I get it!”

My daughter, that evening at the wedding, was recognizing the fact that I had been the first to make the momentous choice which influenced all of our lives and destinies. I was speechless. It was true. My choice had eternally life-changing effects. It all began because a pastor’s wife cared enough to share  the good news of Jesus Christ’s salvation with her next door neighbor over the clothesline. She allowed her life to intersect with mine, and the world was changed. She had no clear view of all that would change when she shared her faith with me. Often when we let our light shine for the Lord Jesus Christ, others will see Him in our lives, be blessed, and the whole universe will be changed as a result—and we might not even be aware of the scope of it!

Andy Andrews, in The Traveler’s Gift, says, “There comes a time in every person’s life when a decision is required. And that decision, should you make it, will have a far-reaching effect on generations yet unborn. There is a thin thread that weaves only from you to hundreds of thousands of lives. Your example, your actions, and yes, even one decision can literally change the world.”

The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions was derived from Edward Lorenz’ hypothesis, presented to the New York Academy of Science as The Butterfly Effect in 1963. It states that a butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air—eventually capable of setting in motion a hurricane on the other side of the planet. While ridiculed as foolish and outlandish at first, the hypothesis was later proven to be a powerful truth.  Science has shown the butterfly effect to be set in motion with the first movement of any form of matter—including people. (Andy Andrews, The Butterly Effect.)

While the clean, white diapers flapped in the breeze on my clothesline, Dana flapped her butterfly wings, moving and influencing the spiritual atmosphere against my dead spirit. The momentum from that seemingly little fluttering carried me into a new life and I began to flap my own wings. I had no concept of the many people who would be influenced by the flapping of my wings, and in turn begin to flap their own in an eternal chain reaction. In addition, I can only imagine the history of that chain of movement before it touched me! Our lives are formed by countless choices which we make—and then those choices “make” us.  There is a magnificent flock of butterflies soaring in the atmosphere as a result—and the results are by no means all in! What a powerful thing is the flapping of a butterfly’s wings. The atmosphere is lifted by the movement and the momentum carries on in ever increasing waves and ripples, like the ripple of a lake when a stone is thrown into its still waters. The forward motion will continue until it reaches its destination.

“In a great deed, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass, bodies disappear, but spirits linger to consecrate ground for the vision place of the soul. And reverent men and women from afar and generations that know us not and that we know not of, shall come here to ponder and to dream and the power of the vision shall pass into their souls.”
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 1828-1914.

Those who are prepared and set apart by the Lord to be His “Butterflies” are guided by the hand of the Lord, and are divinely protected from harm by a “hedge of thorns” which prevents them from failing to finish their mission in God’s plan. The person who has chosen to make a difference will not be harmed until he or she has accomplished that for which they have been placed on earth. “You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5).  When such a powerful sequence of events has been started by one person’s loving choice, it will be continued to the end in God’s grand scheme.  “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 1.27.32 PM“Mom—you are my Butterfly,” Sara said as she handed me my copy of  The Butterly Effect  and a lovely butterfly ornament for my garden which has wings that move in the breeze.

“Every human being you know is making a request of their friends, though it usually goes unspoken. Here’s what they ask: ‘Motivate me. Call out the best in me. Believe in me. Encourage me when I’m tempted to quit. Speak truth to me and remind me of my deepest values. Help me achieve my greatest potential. Tell me again what God called me to be, what I might yet become’” ~ John Ortberg

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Let’s pray together. Lord, I feel the fluttering of butterfly wings as I think about this concept today. I pray that You will move upon me today as my life intersects with that of another human being who is in need of Jesus and the gift of salvation. Toss a pebble into the waters of my spirit, and let the ripples go out unhindered from my encounter with You. May the atmosphere carry the movement of Your Holy Spirit upon my heart and have a direct influence upon someone else today. Someone touched me with their butterfly wings—now allow me to touch someone else with mine. Show me a person that I can draw near to and flap my wings. It may seem like such a small motion, but with the impetus of Your Holy Spirit a force will be set forth that has the power to change  the universe!
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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About Rhea Beaudry

I am a retired person who loves to find many ways to share the love of God with others. I love to blog; I also love gardening, photography, sewing, quilting, and crafts. My passion is to see people connected with each other and helping each other to grow and flourish.

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