If a Butterfly Flaps its Wings

The boys and I had one of those conversations at the lunch table today. So, if a butterfly flaps its wings, could the result be a tornado on the other side of the world? I have always felt like this sort of stuff is over my head. Alex’s seventh grade science is dealing with the variables that cause weather and life to be unpredictable beyond a certain point.

Months ago I picked up some of Madeleine L’Engle’s books at a library sale and today I was proofreading “A Swiftly Tilting Planet.” I am not quite done with it, but what I got so far is the main character time traveling to mend “Might Have Beens” in the past where people made catastrophic mistakes that snowballed through the ages. I suppose it is a cautionary tale of what can happen when one makes bad choices, the evil and woe that affects entire generations. I am not sure the book will go on the shelf, because I don’t really respect the author’s use of a unicorn to time travel, but it has given me a lot to think about. Sure, God is not limited to time, but the way I see it, He uses redemption to clear up horrible mistakes. We don’t have the luxuries of “do-overs”, no matter how earnestly we wish we did.

On the same subject, did you ever wonder what significance you really hold in the world? The little dot that is you in the Universe; the blip that is your life? Does it really matter whether you flap your wings or not? I read a wonderful article on Desiring God that I think you will enjoy too. God’s Glory in Your Extraordinary Story starts like this:

“Statistically speaking, you should not exist.

Think about it for a moment. How unlikely was it that your parents ever met? And even when they came together, you were just a bad mood or argument or headache or television show or phone call away from never being conceived.

Take a generational step back, and ponder your grandparents’ stories. What were the twists and turns and near misses in their experiences and relationships — any of which, had there been even a minor change, would have resulted in your non-being?”


“And your extraordinary life is continually shaping, and being shaped by, many other lives, human and non-human, as you move through time. In ways both witting and unwitting, your words and actions are influencing the course of other lives. Your choice of a parking spot or your seat on a plane could have a life-altering affect on someone else. Your choice of church, school, and workplace certainly will…” -Jon Bloom


It helped to cement in my heart again that the choices I make today, the words I say, the little, seemingly inconsequential things in life… all make ripples that effect others. It seems a little scary, but I truly believe that all are divinely ordered and organized to fulfill God’s purposes. I stand amazed. (I also like that all three of these separate “conversations” occurred almost simultaneously. 🙂 )

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