anatomy of a butterfly wing

Posted: June 12th, 2015 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you. From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you’ve been hungry for more. – Colossians 1:5-6 MSG

The Message, in a single word, is Jesus.

We spend too much time trying to pick the right answer and be better than we were yesterday. We create order that trips our freedom and practice self-control while continually failing. Our dreams dangle two steps out of reach and “doing the right thing” is the saboteur. We push to be adults so that we can be better children. Always two steps behind. We try to make our kids who we think we should have been and are disappointed when they’re just like us.

…for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began… – Titus 1:1-2 ESV

He’s our promise.

The struggle is a distraction because the Truth is too simple. We think we’re so wise, outsmarting ourselves like we’re divided Could-Have-Beens stuck in bodies of sin. We ignore the miracle of ever-expanding creation from the microscopic frenzy of cellular production on our skin all the way to the vibrating black matter of the tiny ignored galaxy we inhabit.

For just a moment, turn off the autopilot and look around you. You want something deeper, you want something more meaningful, but you don’t even understand what is right in front of you. You’re not two steps behind, you’re exactly where you’re trying to be.  We have to learn to balance micro moments of peace on the cusp of quake.

We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus. – 2 Timothy 1:9-10 MSG

It’s not about you. It’s for you.

If even the slightest glimpse of Jesus doesn’t cast such a blinding light over yourself that you disappear into it, then you’re not seeing Jesus. He’s not the light that illuminates your flaws. You were made for Him and through Him. To Him, you have no flaws.

This offends those who look at people to measure Truth. This angers those who would drag another into the street of public opinion. Those who scream “Heresy” upon hearing the simplicity of the Gospel are speaking to their own unbelief. His “yoke is easy” because He’s already done the work. His “burden is light” because He’s already carried the weight. The ache for more will never go away.

When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. – Hebrews 6:17 MSG

He is the source of Truth.

This whole thing is set up so that you can’t mess it up. You can’t make God change His mind about you. Actually receiving the gift, as opposed to just hearing about it, will change your mind about you.

People live flaccid lives feeling shortchanged and forgotten. Their eyes have not yet opened to the always expanding creativity swirling around them. It’s to small or too fast or too vast and they can’t see what they don’t know. There is a life just beyond the mundane and it’s right in front of you.

All of life is layered upon itself, dependent upon the layers below and above. Life has always been illustrated by linked circles of intricate interconnected dependence and beauty. Take, for example, the anatomy of a butterfly wing. A delicate piece of microscopic lace with details the size of a single bacterium is one of several thousand microscopic scales on a single butterfly wing and each creature has four. It aids with light and flight. Chances are, you’ll never get the opportunity to see the beauty outside of pictures, but how often do we stop to look at fluttering butterflies anyway?

But it’s more than butterflies. It’s hidden layers of beauty, purpose, and meaning. Because of the interconnected pushed-and-pushing nature of molecules and the ever more illuminated fact that there is no such thing as nothing and every space is taken up, the unnoticed flitter of a butterfly wing is the response of a series of reactions and is responsible for it’s own set of subsequent reactions. The mid-flight turn of a Chinese butterfly has the potential to shape the curve of an Oklahoma tornado.

Everything that moves has to first be moved. Atoms do not animate themselves. Somebody had to move first. Aristotle’s explanation of God is “The First Mover”.

What is your word?

You are a response to His movement. You are a word spoken by His voice. If you knew that you couldn’t mess up His intricately laid plan what would you do? If you knew He was just waiting to hear your voice, what would you sing? 

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf… – Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV

butterfly scale

A magnified butterfly scale.

Butterfly scales.

A magnified butterfly wing.

butterfly effect

The butterfly effect illustrated by light simulation.


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