The Divine Butterfly Effect
"From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work." (Psalm 104:13)
"In chaos theory," according to Wikipedia, "the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state." This was expressed by Edward Lorenz, when he stated, "one meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a sea gull's wings would be enough to alter the course of the weather forever. The controversy has not yet been settled, but the most recent evidence seems to favor the sea gulls." At a later date, the argument was reframed to ask, "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?"
For our reading of Psalm 104, the "butterfly effect" is described in the psalmist's description, as the New Interpreter's Bible points out, as "the intricate interconnectedness and subtle interdependence of air, soil, water, plants, and animals, including humans." It seems to me that the psalmist was one of the earliest environmentalists. While nature is not divine, for the psalmist, nature is certainly sacred. The New Interpreter's Bible continues, "everything we do has an effect on God's world and thus on God. Ecology and theology are inseparable."
The little things, for good or ill, greatly affect God's creation. Today, take a walk and look around at God's creation. Offer thanksgiving for the trees, sky and human life. Ponder the interconnectedness of this amazing creation and offer God your sense of awe at God's unintelligible wisdom. Then conclude your prayer by making a commitment to doing one new task to make God's creation a better, cleaner place.