"You see it's all clear,
You were meant to be here...
From the beginning."
--Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
I’m a big fan of the butterfly effect theory, also known as “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” Part of the chaos theory, it says that a small variation at the beginning of a dynamical system can cause a large variation at its end. As an illustration, it says that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause minor atmospheric changes that ultimately result in altering the path of a tornado, increasing or decreasing its speed, or preventing it altogether.
Hollywood likes to play with the idea of the butterfly effect. It’s A Wonderful Life, Sliding Doors, all three Back to the Future movies, and The Butterfly Effect each explore the difference made by small, seemingly insignificant decisions. It’s A Wonderful Life goes so far as to have snow falling in the world with George Bailey and a snowless Christmas in the world without him. It’s a fun “what if” to play with.
But isn’t it true that each of us is creating our own little (or maybe not so little) butterfly effect? What if we are not only making a difference, but have been placed by God precisely where we are to make that alteration. There are verses in the Bible that seem to say so:
Mordecai, calling on his niece, Esther, queen of Persia, to save her people from destruction, said, “...who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 - NKJV)
In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul says, ”...we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 - NIV)
We can’t know all the differences we bring about with our little, everyday choices. Smiling over the fence at the neighbor. Letting the other driver go first at a 4-way stop. Helping a child understand a concept in language or science. Unlikely as it seems, those little “flutters,” the little unconscious decisions we make, could change the course of history—or greater still, the course of eternity. That’s why it’s so crucial to have our decision-making process guided by God, moment by moment.
...those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires...the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; ...You...are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. (Romans 8:5b, 6b, & 9a - NIV)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20 -NIV
"...it's all clear, you were meant to be here...."