The Butterfly Effect, coined by mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz is the belief that minute insignificant details in a system can eventually result in large differences within that system. For example, the flutter of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado in Kansas.
Sounds incredibly far-fetched I know, but there is scientific evidence that lends credence to the ‘the Butterfly Effect’.
The idea that one butterfly could have a far-reaching ripple effect on subsequent events seems first to have appeared in a 1952 short story by Ray Bradbury about time travel, and was proven possible while Lorenz was using a numerical computer model to rerun a weather prediction in the early 60s. Lorenz entered the decimal .506 instead of entering the full .506127 and the simulated result was a completely different weather scenario.
Science aside, let’s use our imagination for a bit.
I am driving to an upcoming, promising job interview. Approaching the traffic-lights, a butterfly catches my attention, distracting me momentarily and causing me to rear-end the car in-front. As a result I miss the job interview. Someone else gets the job and eventually gets rich and famous, all of which would have certainly been mine, if it weren’t for that pesky butterfly!
So you see, the Butterfly Effect is very perceivable, and when one comprehends the enormity of a single butterfly’s potential influence on one’s destiny, it makes one think very differently about butterflies… doesn’t one?
Which brings me to the point of this long-winded post:
We influence people every moment of our lives, and I don’t need to mention (but will anyway) that our influence is far more weighty than the influence of a butterfly!
Charles Finney put it this way…
Every Christian makes an impression by his conduct, and witnesses either for one side or the other. His actions, speech, whole demeanour, make a constant impression for one side or the other. He cannot help testifying for or against Jesus. He is either drawing people to Christ, or he is drawing people away from Him. At every step you tread on chords that will vibrate for all eternity. Every moment of your lives, you are exerting a tremendous influence that will tell on the immortal interests of souls all around you. Are you asleep, while all your conduct is exerting such an influence?
So awesome and challenging.
Beautiful. I had butterfly’s in my stomach after that. Did make me ponder about whether my action pull people or draw them away from Christ. Even in my passive moments.