Chaos theory – you change so much with such small things
Zechariah 4:10Zechariah 4:10
English: World English Bible - WEB
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For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
Luke 16:10-11Luke 16:10-11
English: World English Bible - WEB
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10″Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
Ok first of all don’t think this is just about money.
Some background: Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist who tried to explain why it is so hard to make good weather forecasts and wound up unleashing a scientific revolution called chaos theory best or more popularly known in laymans terms as the butterfly effect. A professor at MIT, Lorenz was the first to recognize what is now called chaotic behavior in the mathematical modeling of weather systems.Small changes in a system could trigger vast and often unsuspected results!
Points in your life. Where decisions count the most. You don’t really see them coming. And when they arrive they simply reveal who you are.
For some of you. These moments, in your life, may form a single nexus or epoch. Just big words that say “turning point” which takes you down a round from which there’s no coming back for good or ill.
A little boy, dreamed a dream. And was so excited that he had to tell his older brothers. Joseph didn’t know when he woke up that morning that in a few hours time he’d be sold into slavery, accused of raping the house of his master, jailed unfairly for many years, only to end up as prime minister of the then most powerful world empire. Prime minister of the Egypt. Second only to pharaoh. Whose provinces then covered not just the lower and upper kingdoms of Egypt, but whose influence extended down beyond the Nile into Nubia of Eastern Africa and Western Africa trading with the Ashanti across empty desolate deserts for that still elusive but ever present nagging dream of mammon that man relentlessly pursues. All for the love of gold!. Through up across the Red Sea into the Mediterranean. Whose art and culture during his time would give us today the very oath that every doctor who qualifies academically for medicine world wide takes before being official recognized by any medical governing body. All forming a focal point around a little boy, who when his brothers asked him what did you see, didn’t hesitate for moment to tell them everything. Knowing full well the probably reaction a little brother gets from big brothers when he tells them “and you were all kneeling/bowing before me”. At a minimum he knew he’d get smacked. But in Joseph’s heart, a butterfly flapped its wings in his mind, and all the way in Egypt years later an estranged and enslaved nation of Israel would take refuge from drought never to leave again for 3 centuries. Just because a boy shared a dream.
Joshua is famous for one thing in the old testament before he took over from Moses. Washing the hands and waiting upon the old prophet. You wont find Joshua doing much else. But at one point in time. When God needed a heroe, the whole of Israel saw themselves as grasshoppers next to a race of giants, who’s idea of a bowl of grapes to regular men was more like a “basin” of grapes. One bunch carried between men on a pole! God needed a nation of kings and priests. Only two men said “we are well able”. In that small moment. Where the voice of the crowd. Which seemed reasonable and logical at the time. Let down the heavenly aspirations of a Father who knew they could have done it. God had to delay their entry into Canaan by 40 years. By then Joshua and Obed were old. But they were the ones God turned to, to get the job done.
A prostitute, by the name of Rahab, going about her business one day wakes up to find Israeli spies in her house. She didn’t know these men. She’d never seen them before. Owed them nothing. Needed from them nothing. A woman of wealth and power and influence. Concubines and prostitutes, many a time in history whether in ancient empires such as China, or nations like Israel or even royal families of countries such as England or France. These women through time, though by means most of us would frown on, have wielded enough power to change the course of history for an entire country. Simple because they caught the right person’s eye. When the soldiers came looking. And asked her if they had seen any strange men in the city. She said no. Hiding the Israeli spies. Why did she do this? We wont know this side of heaven. But this we do know. She woke up that morning. Not knowing that one day she would make a small but risky decision that would put her squarely into the bloodline of a coming Messiah.
The most important day of your life, if its not already past, won’t be a big bang. It’ll sneak up on you. Quietly. Anonymously. Again. A turning point. A focal point. Probably on something you’re used to making decisions about on a regular basis. Or probably about something you don’t think you’d struggle much in making the choice about. Usually it’ll entail risking something or giving up something. Isn’t that the difference between someone MAD about Jesus, verses someone just towing the party line or going through the motions of faith? The attendance. The offering. A person like this. Who can latch on to the minutiae of life and transform it into something an earthquake event. A little boy hearing a voice in the middle of the night turns out to be one of Israel’s greatest prophets and discovers Israel’s greatest king. David just wanted to see his brothers and what was going on at the warfront. He left home that day a last born shepherd boy. You know that popular little phrase “hey little man”. His father sent him with some food and water. Bread and cheese maybe some dried meat. War rations. For his older brothers. Just barely into his teens. David got to the warfront a little man. And came back a hero with the women of an entire nation singing as the crowd tossed him high on their shoulders. “Saul has killed his thousands but David has killed his tens of thousands”.
You notice I didn’t speak of Ruth. She made a huge leap of faith to go back with naomi to a strange land and serve a foreign God. I’m not gonna speak of Mary mother of Jesus or Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist. Those were huge decisions. Angel appears to you what are you gonna do really? Some of you have been waiting your whole lives. I don’t know why. For the awe and miraculousnessness of the encounter? Do you really want that? If you were to see an angle or something supernatural, the who you are today would in a sense die. You’d never be the same again. You’d never be able to cling to a comfort zone. You’d never be able to lean on doubt like a crutch ever again. You would have seen the unseeable. You’d never be able to go back to just chilling. Also you don’t know what they would ask you or from you if you do see one. Again are you sure you know what you want?
Notice I didn’t mention Abraham or the disciples. I’m talking about really small decisions in this email. That change your life and the lives around you forever. It takes a lot for God to appear to you and say go and you just jump. Not only that but you take your entire family and your nephew and his family with you. By the way. I don’t see God asking Lot to do anything in the Bible do you? I don’t remember God calling Lot, appearing to lot or anything like that. The guy just followed his uncle whereever he went. Not only that. Because of his uncle Lot saw or met angels. So even the big guys, their decisions had huge ramifications. Adam and Eve. Moses burning bush. Take a look at the disciples too. Huge leaps of faith. A guy you don;t know walks up to you, full of the Holy Spirit to the point that its leaking out of Him literally and this Jesus, carpenters son says come and you jump. You throw away your career, status, way of life and go out onto the road with this Stranger, who turns into God! Big leap. Don’t wanna talk about those.
I wanna talk about the small stuff. The little things in your life that matter. Or actually I wanna talk about how aware we all are about how easily we can make a decision that changes our personal history permanently. We’re probably all expecting some huge event to play a pivotal role in our lives that we can trace forward into a great or better future. We cant get caught in that trap. That something big and thus something we’ll see coming a mile away is something we can control or respond to better. Eve took a walk by herself and didn’t trust her husband. A maid from Pharoahs house wandered away from the royal harem to investigate a strange floating box. Small decisions. And the world was never the same. An anonymous good samaritan stops by the side of the road, in the rain to help a woman with a flat tire. He quickly does his thing and vanishes. A week later gets a call from the bank saying his mortgage had been fully settled. The anonymous woman turned out to be Melinda Gates.
Christianity isnt about fasting 40days and 40nights. The elite in whatever their field, go through the motions. Training daily in mundane routine. Placing themselves in the path of possibility by respecting the little things in life which the cliché says are the most important. Jesus prayed everyday. David meditated on the word everyday. Paul looked for someone who needed to get saved everyday. Peter preached everyday. Mary Magdelene followed Jesus everywhere she could just putting herself in his shadow. A believer. The crazy ones. The ones we write books about. Believed God in the little things and the big. They didn’t suddenly have a huge leap of faith. The just kept at it. And at it. And at it and at it. Don’t you wanna be that guy who keeps knocking on God’s door in the middle of the night? Asking for bread. Don’t wanna force God to answer you just to keep you quiet so He can go back to sleep? “hereafter the violent take heaven by force”. A carpenter. He woke up today and cut down some trees and shaped the logs and split them. The next day he did the same. The day after he shaped and sanded the planks and cured the wood. And again the day after. His back ached. His hands pierced by splinters. He skin tanned. His muscles toned and rippled. From all the times He pushed and pulled at that saw. From all the times He hammer at table legs, and stool legs and headboards and shelf frames. The sanding and painting and carving gave Him the universes’ most powerful yet most humble hands. His hair wasn’t that long like a hippy’s or surfer dude like you see in the movies. It would have gotten in the way of his work. Or at a minimum He made sure to tie it back or trim it before it got to shoulder length. Functional. Routine. Humble. The most menial tasks. The most thankless jobs. The most mundane work. Produced masterpieces of art. Where joint and iron made sturdy furniture that people remarked at their workmanship. And at the end of the day…. When He washed His hands and sat down to eat. He wasn’t served by angels. His mother put simple food before her simple Son. And with the grace of a God, He took the bread and the soup and ate. Later that night, after usual routine of washing off the dirt and grime. He slept. Saying a short prayer before bed. And waking early to start the day, meditating with His Father, while hauling more trees. To make more logs. To make more planks. To make more stools. But His strong back one day, was whipped till any normal man would have long died from His wounds. But because of the day in day out routine….By His stripes, we are healed.
Be faithful in the little things.
Be sensitive to the voice of God
Be hungry for God in the depths of your soul
Be desperate for intimacy with the HolySpirit
Its the only insurance you got. Cause life has a habit of sneaking stuff up on you simply because we’re so caught up that stuff passes us by. We don’t respect the daily grind. We don’t mark our daily decisions. Only later to find out that something small. A butterfly flapped its wings in Brazil, in our lives and out in Asia you eventually get hurricanes. Don’t take the small for granted or even be afraid of what you missed out on or messed up yesterday! “My strength is made perfect in your weakness”. Today is a new day and a new dawn. Another 24 hours in which you can take small things and make the universe witness the tapestry of faith you’re weaving across the canvas of our cosmos.
Do you know you’re butterfly moments?
Whats in your daily?
Whens the last time you risked something small but in your spirit you could feel something else going on?
Do you know whats coming round the corner for you?
Today…you could make some small decisions. And when the hand of God strings them all together, your life might never be the same.
Be brave enough today, to take a small leap of faith. Be a part of some godly chaos there. A divine butterfly effect