Are You a Butterfly?

You’ve probably heard of the butterfly effect. No, not the Ashton Kutcher movie; the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings in South America affects the weather in New York City. It has something to do with Chaos Theory, which might be a good descriptor of my life if it was instead called Chaos Reality. Truly, I have no idea what Chaos Theory is (and if you know, don’t tell me; I’m not that interested).

The point of the butterfly effect is that small, seemingly inconsequential actions can affect the world in amazing ways. And so Andy Andrews, the teller of parables whose book The Noticer I reviewed last year on my blog, has crafted his newest book, The Butterfly Effect, around this phenomenon. When the publisher, Thomas Nelson, offered me a complimentary copy through, I couldn’t resist a peek.

Andrews is a masterful storyteller, and this book is no exception. The Butterfly Effect reminds me of It’s a Wonderful Life, but with historical facts. And instead of tracing how one life affected his world, he traces how one wonderful outcome arose from many people who took one bold or brave action. He gets to the people behind the hero, those whose actions in the past allowed the superstar to become a superstar, to make a world of difference.

A beautifully sculpted gift book with exquisite pacing of copy and art, The Butterfly Effect makes an outstanding gift to a recent graduate, an uncertain teen, an adult trying to decide life’s next step. If George Bailey had read it, he might not have needed the angelic review of all his life had meant to others. Who do you know that needs its message? (Read it yourself before you give it away.)

What results will your actions have? Is the thought that each small, insignificant choice you make or action you take can, and will, affect the lives of countless others enough to keep you moving? It drives me to my knees to ask God for wisdom to choose well. As Andrews says, “You have been created in order that you might make a difference.” What difference are you making in your world? Every step is a small but powerful one. Make it purposefully.


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