“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…” Galatians 6:10
We’ve all heard of the butterfly effect; the idea that small causes can have large effects.
One powerful example of the “butterfly effect” is drawn from a true story that has had far reaching effects for all of mankind.
One day in the countryside of Scotland, a poor farmer was toiling in his field when suddenly he heard a cry for help. Startled, he recognized someone was in trouble and the plea was coming from a nearby bog. Immediately he dropped what he was doing and ran to the source of the plea. When he located the voice calling for help, he stumbled upon a terrified boy up to his waist in black muck, screaming and sinking deeper and deeper into the bog as each minute passed.
The farmer calmly retrieved ropes from nearby, pulled the boy out of the bog and saved his life.
The next day, an elegantly dressed nobleman arrived at the farmers small and simple home. When the nobleman stepped out of his carriage, he introduced himself as the father of the boy the farmer had saved.
Emotionally, the nobleman thanked the farmer and asked to repay the farmer for saving his son’s life. The farmer waved off the offer and informed the nobleman he could not accept payment for doing what was right.
At that moment, the nobleman asked if the farmer had a son in which the farmer replied he did. Subsequently, the nobleman insisted he provide the farmers son an education on par with that he would provide his own son. Upon leaving the farmers house, the nobleman told the farmer, “if the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.”
The nobleman’s prediction concerning the farmers son proved to be prophetic.
True to the nobleman’s word, the farmers son attended the best schools in the world and eventually graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London. More importantly, he went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.
What saved his life this time?
The name of the nobleman?
Lord Randolph Churchill.
His son’s name?
Sir Winston Churchill.
It’s easy to get into the mindset of, “My life makes no difference” or “What impact do I have on the world? I’m just one person. No one notices me.” But what can we learn from this story? Little things can have a huge impact. Here is a partial list of things that the Bible says we should do for one another:
- watch over one another
- pray for one another
- be friendly and hospitable
- be patient with one another
- bear with other’s faults and weaknesses
- forgive one another
- comfort one another
- build up and encourage others
- be happy for people when they are blessed
- believe the best of one another
- meet people’s needs
Love has many ways it can be seen. These are all simple things we can do if we are willing to take the time to do them. A kind word, a smile or a helping hand can go a long way and you never know what impact you may be having on someone’s life.
God wants us to be a blessing to others, and even the little things can mean a lot. Begin to look for opportunities to be a blessing and God will use those blessings to further His kingdom.