Set in Motion – The Ripple Effect

By Patrick Hawthorne


My Pastor was finishing up a month long series titled, “Being Better.”  For twenty-one days of the month, my church, as a whole, set out to fast and pray.  To coin the famous words of Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.”  It was the worst of times because fasting is never easy.  It is not supposed to be.  Granted, my fast was only on weekday lunches, sweet tea, and soda’s, but that was extremely hard on this sweet tea loving Southern guy.  If you are not from the South, you just won’t understand.  We will give up breathing before giving up our sweet tea.  On the other hand, it was the best of times because my focus was on the Lord and I felt several binding chains fall off my life.

During the message, Pastor made an interesting comment.  He said – and I paraphrase –  “It is not your achievements in life that make the biggest difference but what things your achievements set in motion.”  If you are a science fiction nut like me, the first rule with time travel is that you must never change past events because of the “Ripple Effect.”  A small stone thrown into a large pond will cause a ripple effect that will cause  disruption throughout the entire pond.  The same is true with our lives and those things we set in motion.

Pastor’s example was an illustration of the first flight made by the Wright Brothers in 1903.  Yes, they achieved something grand and worthy of note.  Being the first to fly a powered “heavier than air” machine was no small feat.  Yet, what they set in motion far outweighed their personal achievement of flying.  Had they not mustered the courage to take that first flight, it is possible that our advancements in air and space technology might not be as far along as it currently is today. It was a ripple effect set in motion by their achievement.

When you do something for someone else, such as praying for them, always be cognizant of the fact that you are setting in motion a series of spiritual events.  That is why that old devil hates it when we pray earnestly and in faith.  While these events may not appear earth shattering to us, we have no idea what the ripples may cause to someone’s life further down the road.  Be adventurous; set in motion a series of life change events. Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, story, writing
9 comments on “Set in Motion – The Ripple Effect
  1. Oh, I really liked this, “Be adventurous; set in motion a series of life change events.” We should pray some big prayers.

    I laughed at your sweet tea fast. I never drink the stuff, but lately people have been bringing me shots. Shots of sweet tea. It started as a joke, “here, you need to sweeten up.” Now it’s a late afternoon sugar boost and pick me up. Our local ice tea is actually brewed bitter and has no sugar. I have no idea why anyone drinks it. But talk about setting things in motion, the notion of sweet tea has been spreading and it’s now available in many places. 🙂


  2. While living in the south for 7 years, I could never develop a taste for sweet tea or boiled peanuts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wally Fry says:

    I think of David and his sin with Bathsheba as an example of a very negative ripple. One might say that if not for that, many of the events that unfolded for the Nation of Israel might not have. He divided his family, set a poor example for his sons. Revolutions came, and ultimately the Kingdom divided and went into captivity. Of course, God knew all that and worked it as His plan. But, I sometimes wonder….what if? Now my head hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow good analogy the flight one really spoke to me. May we set ripple effects for the sake of the kingdom!

    Liked by 1 person

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