The Butterfly Effect

It was supposedly meteorologist Edward Lorenz who first suggested the "Butterfly effect" which,  in one version, suggests that a butterfly flapping its wings in China can ultimately cause a hurricane off the coast of America… This has become one of the most widely quoted illustration of that branch of mathematics known as "chaos theory."
Well, if that’s the result of 2 butterfly wings, then is it any wonder that the collapse of 2 skyscrapers in New York have produced such chaos in the past 10 years? It devastated the lives of not only those who lost loved ones that day but in many subsequent events the world over. They may have been called the World Trade Centre, but their effect on world trade was probably greater in their demise than during their existence… their fall was like the beginning of a row of dominoes toppling, with the affects spreading wider and wider with the passing years… The cloud of dust they kicked settled on the lungs of thousands of New Yorkers, and will have health implications for years to come, but the cloud of fear and hatred created has enveloped the world, producing a climate of suspicion which is almost as threatening as environmental climate change. Yet if we as nations and individuals are perpetually terrified then the terrorists (and tabloids) are the winners.

What can we possibly do in the face of all this? Well Jesus at one point said that a mustard seed of faith is powerful enough to move mountains, while Paul tells us that there is an even more powerful force than faith… That while faith, hope and love are enduring gifts, the greatest of these is love… Great enough, we are told by yet another Biblical writer, to cast out all fear.

So in the face of fear, despair and hatred, let us remember that wee butterfly frantically flapping its wings in China, and seek, through even seemingly infinitesimally small acts of faith, hope and love to bring peace in place of chaos.

The Just a Moment for Downtown this morning.


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