I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this…
I have become strangely fascinated by chaos theory. Weird, huh?
But my life and faith, and your life and faith, are making my fascination more intense.
Chaos theory, while complex beyond my comprehension, essentially says that things have a sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The classic example of chaos theory holds that a butterfly flapping its delicate wings in Brazil might initiate a tornado in Tennessee.
Here’s the catch. The outcome of the initial condition is impossible to predict. Not every butterfly motion results in a tornado, or even a light breeze!
I think chaos theory is right Christian.
Try not to be too affected by the religion industry. Our friend Jesus was not a superstar. He was a homeless, wandering preacher who lived in a backward place in a backward time. He didn’t write books. He didn’t broadcast sermons. He didn’t publish research. He didn’t hang with influential people (though he did hang for them.) Talk about a butterfly flapping its wings! So much of the good, and the bad, that we know and will know began with a dependence on initial realities.
So much of what we are began with a “butterfly” somewhere that we can’t identify. But we are so very grateful for that butterfly.
My friend is a long tenured, very well respected, highly competent math teacher. Don’t panic! This isn’t about math. She has a table tent on her desk. It reads “Just be Kind” on one side. On the other side it reads “Encourage one Another.” She tells me that her students don’t just notice the table tent, they actively approach it. They don’t just read it, the are compelled to touch it. And get this, she tells me her classroom has become kinder and more encouraging. Her butterfly action in placing that tent is having an outcome that she might have wanted, but couldn’t have predicted.
Thursday evening I was in the Atlanta airport (where are all these people going!) I was wearing my #changetheconversation tshirt. I was ordering a coffee and the barista read the words on my shirt out loud. She told me thank you. I gave her a brief description of the movement of the Spirit behind the shirt.
And she asked me for a shirt.
I have her address on a napkin in my pocket.
I mailed the shirt yesterday.
Who knows. Right?
All of this blathering to say you are the butterfly that we need. Keep flapping your wings. As gently as a butterfly keep flapping your wings. As we do it together we are fanning a change that has to happen.
This is where chaos theory gets back to being Christian, for me. We don’t have to know the results. We don’t have to know the impact. We don’t have to know the when or the who. The butterfly is just faithful to what it is. You and I, followers after God in the way of Jesus, just have to be who we are.
Kind people. Encouraging people. Loving people. Brave people.
People with the faith that tells us the wind that makes all things new is going to blow and we are a part of breeze.