On an ordinary winter day in 1961, an MIT meteorologist named Edward Lorenz ran some routine experiments and found some unusual results. Lorenz discovered that seemingly tiny and insignificant changes in his data could produce huge differences in the final result. At first, Lorenz and other scientists in the field of chaos theory called this “the sensitive dependence on initial data.” Fortunately, later on Lorenz used a simpler term-“the butterfly effect.”
In 1972, Lorenz presented a scientific paper entitled “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set off a Tornado in Texas?” According to Lorenz’s theory, the butterfly’s wing-flapping doesn’t actually cause a tornado, but it can start a chain reaction leading to giant changes in world-wide weather patterns. In others words, even tiny, insignificant movements or actions can produce huge changes that affect millions of people.*
Is it possible that doing even the smallest act of kindness for someone can have a huge impact on their lives, and the lives of others? I am living proof that kind deeds, (no matter how small and seemingly insignificant) can have a huge impact.
My wife and I were flying on a plane to the North Dakota area about 11 years ago, responding to a call to become a ministerial team in a small town in southwest North Dakota.
We were more than a bit anxious about how we were going to do that, I had recently been out of work, and we were living on a “shoestring” to check out the job opportunity. We were leaving the plane, and as I was preparing to keep my wife walking steady as she made her way to her wheelchair a woman approached her. “I feel strongly that I should give you this,” she said, and handed my wife an envelope. My wife thanked her and I helped her to her wheelchair and we made our way down the concourse of the terminal. Inside the envelope was a fifty dollar bill.
We were flabbergasted.
The woman did not know us, and could not have understood that we were living on next to nothing in order to take that trip from New York to North Dakota. God knew though, and that one small act from a woman that we had never met before confirmed to both of us that we were heading in the right direction, and that God would open doors of opportunity for us along the way. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
How could God want to use YOU today (perhaps in just a small way), to show His love and care for someone else? Good question. May I suggest that it would be something worth praying about?