Have you ever felt the beat of a butterfly’s wings? Have you had one land in your hand, and watch it as it flutters? On a spring day as you walk through a park and you can see them fly around. Have you ever felt their beat? They are beautiful creatures. Small. Graceful.
What if I told you there was amazing power hidden in their wings? That the beat of a butterfly’s wings could cause a hurricane? Could something that small cause something so large and life altering?
There was a theory postulated many years ago that stated that a Butterfly’s wing beat in Africa could cause a hurricane in San Francisco. I am not going to go into the science, but let’s ask the question: have you ever witnessed something insignificant that made a huge impact? Have you ever felt the beat of a butterfly’s wings? Are you sure?
It was the fall of 1997. I had just moved to Edmond Oklahoma, a sophomore at the University of Central Oklahoma. I came to study singing…I was going to be an Opera singer. Yes. It’s true. (I am glad that is not where I ended up…) When I got to campus I started attending the Baptist Student Union. I knew I needed to meet people, and am very thankful I soon met a cool guy named Matt.
Matt was a couple of years older than me. He was a college student, but also a college pastor at a good sized church in Oklahoma City. He invited me to a Singles Bible Study at his church and I was happy to come along. Over the next several months I got to spend time with Matt and learned that he was an excellent minister. He loved people. He loved getting to be a help in people’s lives. Working at the church was not his first career choice initially. He originally wanted to be a chef.
On April fool’s day in 1998 I was at the church with Matt and he introduced me briefly to a girl named Marixa. They were friends and she politely told me hi, and then talked with him for a few and went on.
Over the next few months Matt planned out different trips that the college group took. Marixa and I both went on the trips that Matt organized. We “noticed” each other on the first trip. We started dating after the second trip. A few months later we were engaged and a few months after we were married. 1998 was 21 years ago.
Since then Marixa and I have had a son and are building our family still. We were able to introduce two friends who came to our wedding to each other. They have been married now for 17 years. They have two beautiful girls.
My question is this: what if Matt had chosen to be a chef? Would I have made it to church on April fool’s day? Would I have had the chance to meet the woman who has been my best friend through thick and thin? I don’t know the answer to that, but I believe things would have been very different.
It is interesting though. What Matt did was seemingly small at the time. I was only one person in his ministry. He was a cool dude who did amazing work. He befriended me, invited me, provided a ride to church, mentored me…it is all small stuff in retrospect, but it made a huge difference in my life.
Life is like that through. If we look at it from high above, human interaction is like a tapestry. What we do weaves in and out with others. We touch each other’s lives in far reaching and impactful ways. A small thing for us can become a huge piece of someone else’s life. Think about your life. What was small at the beginning that is now huge?
What we do everyday matters. Every interaction. Everything. You never know when what you do will set of a chain reaction of awesome for someone else.
To my original question, have you ever felt the beat of a butterfly’s wings? I have. I can see the great changes it made in my life. It is my sincere hope that you feel its gentle flutter now, here in this moment.