Today I received an interesting post from one of my Christian artist friends that talked about cause and effect; described as the “butterfly effect” This centers upon the “scientific” studies of Edward Lorenz who proposed not too long ago that; “Where as small change at one place in a determinate system can result in large differences in a later state.” He proposed that the flapping of a butterflies wings could produce a huricane at another place at some distant time”. Or maybe more understandably, that a ball placed upon the crest of a hill may run into several valleys, depending, among other things, slight differences in initial position. The same idea has been proposed a few days ago that every eleven years there are gigantic “sun spikes” of temendous heat-energy that are introduced into our immediate atmosphere that may have the power to set our whole global communication system on its’ ear; causing billions of dollars of corrrective expense.
The more specific use of the word “determinism” may also open another box, suggesting that every human act is caused by something and there is no free will. If this means that the butterfly had no control over the flapping of its, wings, it hardly attests to the idea that God has given everyone (everything) the choice as to his own course of action, or inaction.
Can we believe, alternatively, that our action, however small, can have profound effects down line? This begs the real question; “Is there a possibility that the most innocent move on our part can cause a catastrophic result on the human level.”
Most of us have been exposed to the tale of Hans Brinker, the little boy who witnesses a small hole that developed in the town dyke, and he stuck his finger in it to stop the flow. His visions were that the whole town would be washed away if he did not take action. He was rescued after many hours, and the town was saved. If the town was destined to be the victim…. then no action on his part would make a difference. Some things just do not “work out” by themselves. Some may be viewed as “opportunites” in God’s overall plan for us corporately and as individuals.
If something as small as a rustle of wings could cause a vast and destructive wind, we might assume that our commission of a small breach of morals might engender a equally disastrous result.
We know that “cardinal” sins as described in Galatians 5: 19-21; wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust. envy, and gluttony seem to reflect some kind of causal rating system that God would assess. God judges not just the act itself, but its’ impact upon others. He judges our acts of “omission” as well.
Often we might rationize; “It was only a few dollars. It was only a little mistake. It was just a slip of the tongue. Let someone else take care of it”, or one of the many other excuses. Often, we cannot imagine the results.
God often despises inaction. We see “holes in dykes” all around us. Whether or not we subscibe to the “butterfly theory”, we can agree that we are called upon to make a difference directly or indirectly. Our role may well be way more significant than we think. We need no scientific study to confirm things; that simply would be “The God Effect”.