I don’t remember the first time I heard about The Butterfly Effect but I DO know it fascinated me immediately! The thought that a single butterfly could flap it’s wings somewhere in like, Arizona or something, and that the eventual effect could cause a hurricane somewhere on the other side of the world (due to the movement of air molecules that, in turn, moves more air molecules, and so on and so on…) amazed me!
Did you know The Butterfly Effect actually has been scientifically proven and is now considered scientific law? Yep! It even has a fancy pants title – although it’s nowhere near as cool sounding! Listen to this mouthful: The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions. Don’t ask me to explain it to you, because math and science really were never my thing. But overall, let me just say it’s science-code for saying this: every flap of wings, breath breathed, and action taken all matter because they cause another reaction, which causes further reactions, etc.
This week in our Bible study book, You’re Already Amazing, we read a lot of our God-given ways of connecting with others. Holley Gerth, the author, did a fantastic job of explaining different ways people relate to one another and helping us uncover some of the ways God wired each of us, individually, to connect.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m evaluating myself and my “strengths and skills”, I have a tendency to look around at the skills sets of others and wonder why I didn’t get theirs instead! I can get totally caught up in “keeping up with Martha”, when in fact, I’m actually a Mary at heart (click here to read the story of Martha and Mary here if you need a refresher!).
The problem with that is (other than the blatant fact I’m turning my focus on myself instead of centering it on God) we cannot all perform the same function because NOTHING on earth would get done. We’d all just be flapping our wings and moving air molecules back and forth at one another and they’d never make it half way across the globe in order to change the world in the way God intended! Listen to what Paul has to say about this in his first letter to the Corinthians:
I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.
But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair? 1 cor 12:14-24,The Message
(C’mon folks. Is there ANYTHING better than a really good Message translation…!!!)
I know. The ear always wants to be the foot. The foot wants to be the eye. The eye thinks it would be better off as the mouth. The mouth decides the hands have it goin’ on much more than it does. Sound at least a little familiar?!
But God knows what He’s doing, sweet friends. He designed us with a million different ways of serving, relating, leading, and connecting with one another so that things will get done and get done in His will! Here’s another way Paul said it:
God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all.
Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.
All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. 1 cor 12:4-11, MSG.
If we’d all been given the spiritual gift of wise counsel, who’d be out there healing the sick? If we all only had the gift of clear understanding, where would we get the miraculous acts? I could go on, but I think you’re getting the picture.
Whatever you’ve been given, however you’ve been wired, whoever you connect with and how, is a GIFT. Every single thing you do, every flap of your wings? It matters.
“There are generations of yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moved you make and the actions you take today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. By [God’s] hand on you, millions – billions – of lives will be altered, caught up in a chain of events begun by you this day.” Andy Andrews, The Butterfly Effect: Everything You Do Matters, copyright 2009.
This week, Holley reminded us that operating in the skill and strength set God gave us keeps us from burning out AND allows everyone to do their parts in this life. Let’s stop trying to do the same thing as everyone else because we will just end up pushing those air molecules back and forth to each other! Instead, let’s flap our wings along with the unforced rhythms of grace He put them here to beat.
Everything you do matters to God. Don’t forget that.
Week SEVEN of I Made You Glorious is here already!!! You know what that means – new stuff to do!!
- Memorize/rewrite this week’s scripture: But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Take God seriously. Micah 6:8, The Message.
- Read Chapter 8 of You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth and answer the Go Deeper Guide questions at the back of the book!
- Listen to our Song of the Week which is cool, new-ish release called “Wanted” by Dara MacLean! Here’s a link to the official music video of the song on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-povr7b6k
Go out and make today a glorious day. I triple dog dare you to flap your wings a little and see what happens!
Peace, love, and Glorious JOY!
Up Monday: A JOY Bomb! Hee hee!