The Butterfly Effect

It was in this moment, I witnessed something everyone could not see. I had passed by this way in the same frantic pace like the others and missed it.

The crack in my windshield forced me to slow down. What began as a garden snake had grown into an anaconda stretching in both directions, obstructing my field of vision. This slow-growing serpent started months back from a surprise encounter with a rock (or some form of road debris.) I was reluctant to admit it needed to be fixed. (Actually, I was unwilling to take the time to have it repaired.)

Dropping my Silverado off at the glass shop, I planned to walk back home. The shop is about three and a half to four-mile walk depending on the route taken. With school being out, I left my wife and kids sleeping and delivered my truck. I grabbed my bag out of the backseat and began my journey back.

I do my best thinking and praying when I walk. I love walking because you encounter the world from a different perspective. It forces you to move at a slower pace and breathe in your surroundings.  I was looking forward to the trek across town because I could get a bit of exercise as I experience God’s creation afresh.

But something was hindering my mind as I walked. I couldn’t get into my sacred place (or pace). A nagging fear of how I looked to the passerby kept me unfocused. Usually, I walk the less crowded thoroughfares, but on this trip, I traveled through the congested streets. Cars and trucks zoomed by leaving me in the wake of their exhaust. I felt uncomfortable and awkward as I walked because everyone else was in a hurry. Was I wasting my time? Shouldn’t  I be doing something more productive? These thoughts swirled in my brain leaving me unsettled.

Then I witnessed something everyone else could not see. I had passed by this way in the same frantic pace like the others and missed it. As I hiked over the Hero’s Bridge Overpass, I noticed the wildflowers blanketing the roadside. Floating on the torrents of traffic-disturbed air a butterfly glided from flower to flower. Carrying out his duty to the Father’s decree. Immediately, I realized this was a gift from my Father and I was ushered into a moment of glory.

God is present in the minutia of life. Often, I think the fear of being seen as odd or different keeps us from experiencing these types of moments. We whizz by on the road of life never thinking of what God is doing around us. As productivity drives us to be human “doings” instead of human beings we miss the wonder of it all.

Don’t believe me? When is the last time you spent time lying on your backside watching the various objects, animals, and characters drift by in the clouds? Or staring in the wonder of a starlit night? You may object that you’re too old to do this kind of stuff anymore. Who says? Or is it that you are worried about being the weirdo? The fear of people’s perception of us robs our childlike wonder. We weigh ourselves down with personal expectations of productivity. We must be doing something not simply being. We often fail to embrace the gloriousness of the creation around us.

By posting this I may have confirmed your suspicion of me. Yes, I may dance to a different beat than you but I am okay with that. It’s okay to slow down and go against the grain of our frantic culture. Taking the time to drink the world in one refreshing sip at a time. Taking time to enjoy the Father’s handiwork and just be human. I never want to be so occupied that I miss another butterfly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin W. Bounds
Kevin W. Bounds (B.S. Bible and Theology, Lee University) serves as the pastor of West Green Baptist Church in West Green, Georgia. He is the teacher of Biblical Literature at Citizens Christian Academy in Douglas, GA. He is married to Amber, and they have two children.

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