The Ripple Effect

Know what that is?
When you drop a pebble into a puddle, it causes a chain reaction that sends ripples across the entire puddle. It effects everything.

Someone was asked to take out trash for an elderly person.
It’s just a once a week job. 
Take the dumpster to the road.
Doesn’t take more than 10 minutes.
But he forgot one week.
The elderly lady, who wanted her trash out, did it herself.
She fell.
Broke her hip.
Recovered at her daughter’s for a month.
Returned to her house.
Asked for trash take-out to be resumed.
A week later, because of a blood clot from her hip surgery, she died.
That’s the ripple effect.
From one person forgetting to take out the trash.
Someone died.

Think what you do doesn’t matter?
It’s just the trash.
It cost a life.

Think your little hidden sin won’t matter?
No one will know.
You justify it.
Excuse it.
Defend it.
But it effects everything you touch.
Soon, you don’t know truth.
You lie to yourself.
You feel alone—because you feel guilty around others.
You hang around the wrong crowd, because they accept you.
One, who hung around the wrong crowd, went to prison for life—he didn’t rob the bank—his “friends” did. 
But they nailed him.
That’s the ripple effect.

Ever have something bad happen to you?
Someone said something unkind.
Someone cut you off in your lane.
Someone was just rude.
It took less than 5 minutes.
But it tainted your entire day.
Those five ugly moments became your day,
You relived it over and over and over.
Stewed on it. 
Had to tell everyone.
Others shared in your pain.
And shared their own.
That’s the ripple effect.

We recently flew to CA.
We had prepaid online for a checked in bag.
Just had to get the luggage marker at the kiosk. 
It wouldn’t work.
The representative only spoke Spanish to Joey.
She needed to see his card.
I mentioned that we already paid (of course in English).
While at the gate, I made some comment that they better not have charged us again for that bag.
Joey checked.
Sure enough, they charged us twice.
The lady at the gate couldn’t change it.
I sat on the plane, thinking how hard it was to trust airlines.
They treat us like cattle, herding us to our seats—I feel like mooing as I take my seat.
Sit down and buckle up. And don’t ask for anything.
If I can’t trust the airlines with my baggage, why do I trust them with anything else?
Everything was black, no lights anywhere out my window.
Why should I trust the airlines to take me where I’m supposed to go? 
They tell us, “We’re going to Fresno,” but are we?
Maybe they were taking us to Mexico and dropping us off!
Soon the entire trip was consumed with that five minute mess up.
You see the ridiculous way the ripple effect can be misused?

Satan wins too many battles by throwing one single thought here and placing a doubt there.
We pick it up and carry it for the rest of the day.
Or the week.
Or the year.

That’s why Paul told us in Philippians 4:8, 
Whatever is true, whatever is honoroable, ..just,..pure, lovely, commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

Think on these things.

He also commanded us to rejoice always.
If we are thanking God always, we can’t be consumed with those darts.
Gratitude replaces discontent.
Those five minutes of nastiness, instead of consuming our entire day, are replaced by God’s faithfulness and our praise to His answers to those 5 minutes.

I’ve been trying to end my day with praise and thanksgiving.
Making a list and replaying in my mind all God’s blessings for the day.

Joey always tells me, “This was a good day.”
Just stating it, doesn’t make it so, but refocuses my thoughts on what was good about it makes it so.

Ever have someone genuinely smile at you and greet you?
Doesn't it lift your spirits?
Make you want to share that smile?

We were recently encouraged by hearing from someone who had lived with us for a month during his high school summer.
He thanked us many times for the influence we had in his life.
And how it has changed what he is doing now.
His life and the lives of his growing family have been changed because he was shown what a family should look like.
That’s the ripple effect for good.
That ripple effect touches others’ lives in ways we do not know.
Others watch.
And are changed.

That’s what happened with the early Church.
They caused a ripple that effected the entire world for Christ.
Others knew they were Christians by their love.

So go ahead and throw that pebble. 
Make that ripple.
And just see where it leads.

Displaying all 4 comments

Boy, you nailed me on this one! I woke up tired and grumpy and everything was negative. What a horrible waste!!! Went for a walk, visited a neighbor, talked with God, and am doing a lot better. But reading your article was very convicting and I'll try to remember it the next time I let some stupid little thing bug me. Thanks Sonya, so appreciate you.

As always, I throughly enjoyed your writing.
It seems I can alway relate to what you are writing about.
Thank you much.

Thank you for pointing out how a single thought can soon poison the whole pool of our heart.

I especially appreciate you for not only how you take the time to pray for me but also that you let me know it. Thank you for your small action that is a big blessing!

Loved this so much!!! Yes your Josh always gives a great smile and I love having here!! We assume little things really don’t matter!! We should be doing the little stuff and giving God the big stuff!

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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