Today's post marks the beginning of the "Ripple Effect" stories I will begin posting periodically as a special feature. A good friend of mine, Kiefer Partridge, sent me a paper he wrote a couple years ago on the "Ripple Effect". It doesn't completely line up with what I initially had in mind, but I think it gives a good opening to branch out to all aspects of the "Ripple Effect". He sent it to me in this really cool pdf format, but it won't upload here, so this is just the text:
"Billy’s absolutely on fire. He gave his life to Christ this summer at a teen rally, and
he meant every word of it. Billy loves to make funny YouTube videos, and he’s
getting good at it — so when he accepted Jesus as his Savior this summer, he
immediately knew that there was nothing he’d rather do than make Christian
No one at school knows it, though. His friends can tell something has changed,
for sure, because he used to hang out with them. Now he’s taking advanced
filmmaking and video production classes, along with photography. He’s joined
the young writer’s club, and he spends all his spare time reading or watching
DVDs about filmmaking. He simply doesn’t have time for them anymore, and
they can’t figure it out.
Meanwhile, his parents are getting frustrated, too. They were thrilled when he
told them he accepted Christ, and thrilled when he realized he should be using his
moviemaking skills to tell others about Jesus — but he doesn’t seem to have time
for his family anymore.
Aren’t we all a bit like Billy sometimes?
so heavenly minded…
We’re all a little prone to becoming, as the saying goes, “So heavenly minded,
we’re no earthly good.” It isn’t surprising. After all, God’s a God of God-sized
dreams, and He usually gives us a vision that’s just a little too big for us to handle
alone. But we often take it too far, and the result is sometimes very short of
disastrous to the people around us.
Take a look at this:
“The most important [commandment],” answered Jesus, “is this:…. ‘Love the
Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 10:13-16 [NIV]
We’ve all read the parable of the good Samaritan, and we all know that
“neighbor” includes everyone around us — but I’m afraid we all too often
overlook the fact that “neighbor” also carries with it the idea of starting with
those close to us.
This is exactly what Jesus did:
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the
disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them,
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of
God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the
kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in
his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Let’s face it, little children were not Jesus’ target audience. Certainly the gospel is
meant for them as well, but if Jesus were simply concerned with making the
biggest splash He could on the political scene of His day, He wouldn’t have
bothered to waste His time on kids.
So why did He? Because the best way to impact people is not by what we do, but
by how we live. Unless we are actively engaged in blessing those immediately
around us, we can never have a big impact on those who are far away. Blessing is
like a drop of water; the ripples will spread across the entire pond, but they must
start from that one single drop. And if we are to reach the very edges of the earth,
we have to start at our own front door."
Beautiful thoughts. Thank you, Kiefer :). Also, Kiefer has his own personal "Ripple Effect" story that he has offered to share, and that will be posted as soon as he sends it to me.
Okay, and if any of you are confused now, let me explain. The "Ripple Effect" is something I had an idea for just a few days ago. Everyone knows what a rock dropped into a pond does, it makes ripples that grow and grow until everything in the pond is affected. Our lives are very much the same. It seems everywhere I turn, I realize this choice I made affects that choice, which affects that occurrence in my life, and so on. What I'm asking from you is your own thoughts, stories, and ideas about the "Ripple Effect". It could be anything! It's not limited to just my own perspective. Also, I'm just one person. Network this idea to your friends! I really want to see just how big this can get. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your stories, questions, or anything else there!