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The Butterfly Effect

I know some of you have been pondering, maybe even musing, at my choice for the name of my blog. I’m really happy to share the meaning and reason for my choosing this as my blog’s title.

The butterfly effect was not my own invention, although I wish it was. It’s actually a scientific theory. In 1963, Scientist Edward Lorenz came up with the butterfly effect.

His theory is, as summarized by Andy Andrews in his book, “The Butterfly Effect” :

 

“A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air— eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.”

 

The scientific community laughed at Lorenz. But, his theory was deemed accurate and is now called The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions. If you ask me, The Butterfly Effect, is easier to say and understand, but I guess scientists need to invent fancy names to sound smarter.

His theory doesn’t just refer to butterflies, but to people. In essence, one act, as simple as a flap of a butterfly’s wings, makes a difference of cosmic proportions.

“When you know that everything matters—that every move counts as much as any other—you will begin living a life of permanent purpose,” Andrews says, quoting a man he met.

I heard about the butterfly effect long before reading Andrews’ brief book, but reading it enforced and expanded my affinity for this theory.

The butterfly effect is a call to live a life of permanent purpose. Everything I do has a meaning and purpose. The lives I touch with each flap of my wings matter. If everyone lived life with this same determination the world would be a different place. God intended us to bring glory to Himself.

Andrews gives several examples of the butterfly effect applied in life. Because George Washington Carver, yep the peanut guy, took interest in Henry Wallace, the former vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wallace became interested in agriculture. He became the Secretary of Agriculture and later hired Norman Borlaug. In the 1940s, Borlaug hybridized high yield, disease resistant corn and wheat for arid climates. This saved two billion lives from famine.

The idea in Andrews’ book and for my blog is this:

“You have been created as one of a kind.
On the planet Earth, there has never been
one like you … and there never will be again.
Your spirit, your thoughts and feelings, your
ability to reason and act all exist in no one else.
The rarities that make you special are no
mere accident or quirk of fate.”

You have been created in order that you might
make a difference. You have within you the power to change

Of course the power comes from God and not ourselves. God has a specific mission for each of our lives. Don’t ever feel like where you’ve been placed is insignificant. You’ve been placed there for a time a season and a reason.

What is your butterfly effect?

Most likely, we won’t know that until we reach heaven. Until that day, let’s keeping flapping our wings.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson’ BookSneeze, I was provided with an electronic copy of Andy Andrews’ book, “The Butterfly Effect.” My thoughts and opinions are my own. I enjoyed and appreciated his book as it fits nicely with my blog.

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The Boy Who Changed the World

I like history a lot. I really love reading books that either are based on history or are history. Historical fiction is my favorite genre.

This is why I enjoyed Andy Andrews’ children’s book, “The Boy Who Changed the World.” I read this book after reading Andrew’s book, “The Butterfly Effect.”

The message in both books is the same: you were created for a purpose and everything you do matters. “The Butterfly Effect” is geared toward adults and “The Boy Who Changed the World” is for children.

The butterfly effect is a scientific theory that Andrews summarizes in the book as:

“When a butterfly flaps its wings, it moves tiny pieces of air . . . that move other tiny pieces of air . . . that move other tiny pieces of air. In fact, on the other side of the world, they might be feeling a big whoosh of wind—all because a butterfly flapped its wings here just a few minutes ago!”

The butterfly effect is a call to live a life of permanent purpose.

In “The Butterfly Effect,” Andrews talks about George Washington Carver, Henry Wallace and Norman Borlaug, who all changed the world. “The Boy Who Changed the World” also shares their stories in an-easy to understand format for children.

Andrews gives several examples of the butterfly effect applied in life. Because George Washington Carver, took interest in Henry Wallace, the former vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wallace became interested in agriculture. He became the Secretary of Agriculture and later hired Norman Borlaug. In the 1940s, Borlaug hybridized high yield, disease resistant corn and wheat for arid climates. This saved two billion lives from famine.

The book sends a great message to children.

“That means every little thing you do matters: what you did yesterday, what you do today, and what you do tomorrow. God made your life so important that every move you make, every action you take, matters . . . and not only for you or the people around you,” Andrews writes.

I’d read the book to my children. (I don’t have any, but if I did, I would).

Also, as a side note, I loved the watercolor illustrations in the book.

Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze provided me with an electronic copy of this book. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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What is the butterfly effect?

It’s a chaos theory.

No, I’m not a science fiction fan or conspiracy theorist.

Some scientists and theorists believe that a butterfly’s wings might create itty bitty alterations in the earth’s atmosphere that could possibly change the path of a tornado or create a hurricane. According to the butterfly effect theory, the flapping wing represents a small change that can cause a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events.

“Theory states: a butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air — eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.”

It’s a ripple effect. One small act by one small insignificant creature can change the course of history.

Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the outcome and direction of the tornado would be different. The butterfly doesn’t provide the energy to shift the tornado. It does “cause” it in the sense that the flap of its wings is an essential part of the initial conditions resulting in a tornado. Without that flap, that particular tornado would not have existed.

We’re small and insignificant creatures on our own. But, unlike the butterfly, we are created in His image and to honor and bring glory to God. Our acting in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading is a part of a divine plan and we can make a difference through our actions.

Butterflies hold a special meaning for me. To me, they symbolize spiritual birth and renewal. They are a sign of new life. As I embark on this journey in Asia, I hope that God will use me to create a butterfly effect.

By flapping my wings, I hope to be a change in another person’s life. I am not the initial cause or source of the change, God is.

I pray that as you and I embark on this journey we would allow God to use us to make the flap that changes someone’s eternity. You can do that from anywhere in the world and I pray you’d embark on your own journey to create a butterfly effect.

You play an integral part in this journey. Your prayers and commitment to partner are a vital flap of the butterfly’s wing. Your journey in your sphere of influence is one only you can take and one that the Lord has ordained. Use your days wisely and follow His leading.

I’m excited to be sharing this adventure with you.

butterfly

The butterfly effect

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