I've been reading " Butterfly in Brazil" by Glenn Packaim; it is a recommended read from "The Ooze". He looks at the "Butterfly effect" how that whimsical question posed by Lorenzo in a paper presented at the December 1972 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C;
Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?
Using this evocative illustration Glenn Packaim goes on to encourage his readers in the small details of discipleship, encouraging us to dream big dreams, but within those dreams to take small steps of faith;
We can't bottle up our passion, energy and dreams of action until we are on the right stage...If we try to save our vision for the perfect day we'll loose it! (p. 10)
I wonder how many of us live life in the wings waiting for our cue, and yet missing out on living, stuck in a trap of our own making? Waiting for the right moment focusing on our own greatness instead of the glory of God. What are the small things God calls us to do each day, in what kind of spirit do we enter into them? All of these questions are raised , incarnational living is the key- God works both in and through us as we yield our lives to him;
God loves to lead us from inside the story, he shapes history by taking an active role in it, while at the same time standing outside of it. (p. 27)
As I read I was struck by the fact that each and every character in God's story is vitally important, it may seem to our eyes that some are more important than others, and yet much like Paul's illustration of the Body of Christ ( 1. Cor. 12) we need one another and the story would be a lesser story without the presence of the seemingly minor walk on part... our faithfulness in the small things might just be the trigger for great things to happen...
Lasting change is often the result of simple faithfulness with something that seems inconsequential. A big impact usually begins with a small act. (p. 41)
His encouragement to persevere is a timely message for today, in a church where small acts of faithfulness go unapplauded, and we are always looking for the next thing to "fix" the problem of dwindling numbers we are called to make a difference in the everyday stuff of life, to continue when the going gets tough, to put our hands to the plough and not to look back if the ground becomes hard, not to be continually looking for the next spiritual high...
God's enduring work does not happen on the hight peaks of passion, but in the flatlands of perseverance. (p. 97)
Often we struggle with the ordinary stuff of life, this book encourages us to keep on keeping on. When I read Hebrews 11, I am reminded that it was:
The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd
They are not commended for greatness, but faithfulness, their lives shone out not because they were perfect, but because they trusted in God so much that they did not turn away from him, they knew God's forgiveness and love, and even though they stumbled they persevered..
I am still reading this book,it is worth staying with and not rushing through, taking time to digest and consider its message is well worth doing.
But you need to stick it out, staying with God's plan so you'll be there for the promised completion.
It won't be long now, he's on the way;
he'll show up most any minute.
But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust;
if he cuts and runs, I won't be very happy.
But we're not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We'll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.