For Christmas this year we found a nice little book under our family Christmas tree. It is a short book that you would expect to read in one sitting, but also a book that could change how you look at every day and every thing you do. It is called The Butterfly Effect and it is written by Andy Andrews. The butterfly effect is a scientific principle that can be applied to all aspects of life. According to the book, Edward Lorenz presented the hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science. Simply stated it says:
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 starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.I do not know how scientifically Mr. Lorenz made his presentation, but he was not taken seriously, actually laughed out of the conference. However, more than 30 years later, the principle was proven true and has become a law known as The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.
I do not want to ruin the book for you, you should read it for yourself. But the premise of the book is that everything you do matters. Everything?!?! Yes, everything no matter how big or how small. I have said for a while that we need to pay attention to what we are doing because someone else may be paying attention to what we are doing. I know this is true here at Refuge Ranch. The smallest children copy everything they see, and the oldest ones question who you really are when you screw up.
It is really cool to spend time with little Danny. He repeats every word you say and asks questions about everything you do. Two or three months ago I was repairing a little wooden chair that had come apart for some reason. Many of the glue joints had loosened up, so the chair was in several pieces, which I had spread out on the sidewalk in front of our apartment. Danny, who is always interested in the current project, came to see what I was doing.
Danny checking out the pieces of the chair.
"Hit it right here Danny"
How does this relate to The Butterfly Effect? This is a time with Danny that I will always cherish. What caused it to happen? Was it one of the older children who sat in the chair and possibly leaned back, breaking the chair? Was it possibly because the person who built the chair did not use enough glue or nails? Was there a shortage of glue at the factory because the person who orders glue missed work? Did the person who missed work, miss work because his wife just had a baby or was there a death in his family? How is it that Danny came along at that time? Had he just gotten up from a nap? Did someone make a loud noise in the house and wake him up? Were some of the kids chasing each other and making a loud noise? Why were the kids running and making noise in the house?
All of these events lead to other events. It does not matter how small or insignificant an event seems, each event has an impact on another event. My parents gave us this little book, probably as encouragement and to make us think. The really cool thing is to know that God is in control. He can use events, even when we screw up, for the good of the Kingdom.