Can you make a difference? Really?

Supposedly there was a conversation between some scientists, and one posed a question: “If a butterfly flaps his wings in one remote location could it cause a tornado in another?” (Not an exact quote, but think Tokyo and Tennessee.)

It’s a cool and intriguing idea rooted in what is called chaos theory, but the bottom line truth is “not exactly;” in fact, not even close. No, a butterfly flapping its wings doesn’t cause tornadoes across the world; BUT, small actions can indeed cause larger, sustained ones.

If a butterfly is too much of a stretch, maybe think ‘ripple effect” like a big rock thrown into a pond. The encouraging application of this is that you and I can be the rock (or butterfly wings) that cause an after-effect.

Your seemingly small kindness toward someone today can make a BIG difference in someone else. Taking a few minutes to reach out to someone could be remembered for YEARS to come.

While we can’t prove the impact of a flapped butterfly wing, we can personally prove the ‘ripple effect’ of kind deeds and words. What are some of the memories YOU have of kind things people said or did to you? Think back, as far back as you can.

I know I remember when I was just 5 years old, I was walking home from school on a snowy, winter, Cleveland day. I slipped on the ice and went down…no sooner had I landed, a man walking behind me just reached down, grabbed my coat by the shoulders and bounced me back up.

He paused just long enough to see that I was ok, and off he went. I never knew his name, couldn’t recall his face, yet I remember that encounter that was maybe 90 seconds long, almost 60 years later!

When the moments present themselves today, say the kind word, do the small kind gesture…you never know what memories you’ll create or ripples you will start! YOU can make a difference for someone else today.

2 thoughts on “Can you make a difference? Really?

  1. It is fascinating to think that there are people who have crossed our paths if only for a moment, that have made a memorable impact.

  2. Just read a great story that agrees with Pastor Stan’s point:

    Keep believing in them -“Love never fails.” 1Co 13:8 NKJV
    Love is a powerful force in dealing with others, and the Bible says that it “never fails.” Other things fail, but not love. Most of us have heard the story of Helen Keller who became blind and deaf as a toddler after an illness, and yet went on to impact the world with her courage and kindness. But there is a “story behind the story.” It’s about “little Annie,” who was locked in the dungeon of a mental institution outside Boston—the only place, said the doctors, for the hopelessly insane. At times, Annie behaved like an animal, attacking those who came close to her cage. At other times, she sat in a daze. But an elderly nurse who held out hope for all God’s children began taking her lunch break in the dungeon, just outside little Annie’s cage. She hoped in some way to communicate love to her. One day she left her dessert—a chocolate brownie—next to Annie’s cage. Annie made no response. But the next day, the nurse found the brownie had been eaten, so every Thursday she brought one to Annie. As the weeks passed, doctors began to notice improvement in little Annie. After several months, they moved her upstairs. And eventually the day came when this “hopeless case” was told she could return home. By that time, however, Annie was an adult and she chose to stay at the institution and help others. One of those she cared for, taught, and nurtured was Helen Keller. Little Annie’s full name was—Anne Sullivan. Since God loves us and never gives up on us, we must do that for one another. And that’s the word for you today.

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