January 19 – The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect

But Joseph refused. (Genesis 39:8)

Read: Genesis 39:1-41:16, Matthew 12:46-13:23, Psalm 17:1-15, Proverbs 3:33-35

Relate:Joseph refused. The world was changed.

Edward Lorenz was a mathematician and a meteorologist. Quite a few decades back he used one of the earliest computers to create the first model of global weather patterns. His goal was to figure out how to predict long term weather patterns in the hopes that, eventually, we would be able to completely control the weather. One day, when he was going to repeat some of the predictions made the day before he put in the number on his printout .506 rather than the full number the computer had created .506127. The difference in weather predictions ended up being huge even though the variance between the two numbers was about the equivalent of that of a butterfly flapping its wings. This is how the term “Butterfly Effect” was born.

Small changes make huge differences. You might have heard the old poem: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. Lorenz, being a mathematician, was curious about this huge discrepancy and began playing with minor variations at various points. What became clear was that it wasn’t just small differences at certain points that brought huge changes. Every single point, at every single moment, every change no matter how small, drastically changes our world. Every nail in every shoe on every horse has kingdom toppling potential.

React: At every moment, every decision, every individual, no matter how unimportant they feel, changes the world. Joseph refused. Because he refused he was put in prison. Because he was in prison he met the baker and the butler. Because he met them he met Pharaoh. Because he met Pharaoh he was able to help save the world during a global famine and so it goes on. What would have happened if Joseph didn’t run? Would he have lived out his life in obscurity? Would he have been caught and killed? Would his brothers, along with millions of others died of starvation? In his moment of decision, there were no flashing lights. There was no angelic chorus. There was nothing at that moment of time to mark his decision as a world changing event. He probably spent more than a few days in his prison cell thinking it was the wrong one.

Today, I’ve already made more than a few decisions. Each one of them has felt completely insignificant. Each one of them has drastically changed the world. That little girl I smiled and waved at, maybe she is happy enough she doesn’t kick her little brother when she gets home. Maybe he doesn’t have just the right mindset when he walks into that mosque that the imam can convince him to strap a bomb to his chest. Maybe the small change I put in that charity thing saves some kids life. Maybe he grows up and discovers the cure for cancer. Maybe…

Every moment. Every decision. Every single time. We are the Butterfly Effect. Each choice we make is changing the world in drastic ways beyond what we can possibly imagine. So what will we do with this unrealized, huge responsibility?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Help me to recognize that every choice that I make, every action I perform echoes throughout eternity. Help me to realize the power, the awesome responsibility I have as I live for You. The question is not can I make a difference, the question is, what difference am I making? God, help me to be a change agent for good. Help me to bring Your kingdom in the here and now.

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12 thoughts on “January 19 – The Butterfly Effect

  1. Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    Only to be what He wants me to be, every moment of everyday.
    Yielded completely to Jesus alone, every step of this pilgrim way.
    Just to be clay in the Potter’s hand, doing what His Word commands
    Only to be what He wants me to be. Amen Lord.

  2. Amen! A simple gesture of kindness has been known to save a life. It can be as simple as a phone call or visit to a neighbor who unknown to you was crying buckets the night before thinking no one cared.

  3. Thank you for this! It has reminded me that everything, I do and every decision I make, no matter what (big or small) has and does make a differince. Not only that, but all my decsions and things done “changes the world.” Like you said, this is true for you, for me, and for everyone in the world, no matter their class, race, religion, wealth or no wealth, can and does change the world just by being themselevs and going about their every day lives. Thanks again for this, now lets go out and change the world just by going about our days but with being aware of what we do and how we do it and when. Amen, Amen, Amen!

  4. And yet. Looking at Joseph’s life from way out here in history, I’m stuck on thinking well, God orchestrated his life. He knew Joseph would be taken captive; knew he’d reject Potiphar’s wife; planned for him to save his people from the famine. But, looking at all the comments, and realizing that at the very moment that Joseph was being pursued by Potiphar’s wife, right then, he could have, through the free will God gave man, choose to yield to her and then……well, history would have been completely different. Guess God would have used another person to save His people. After all, He told Abraham many years earlier that his people would be enslaved for 400 years before being set free. So, right in the moment, we do have a choice. To be Jesus centered or self-centered. To be kind. Or to be rude. You continue to make me think, Beejai! And I love it! Love all the comments, too! God keep using you for His glory right where you are!

  5. At a major changing point in what is left of my life – your post today was of great value. If you ever become disenchanted or feel your write for nothing – never let that thought enter your mind. You made a difference is my day, which could be the first or last day of my life. I read you constantly, but this was meant, I believe, just for me in this time of change.
    Thank you. Blessings and love.

  6. Beautiful post, as followers of Christ our decisions and choices have ripple effects that can change the world. Because God has created us for a divine purpose. Thanks I was really blessed by this post.

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