The Reverse Ripple Effect and Moments of Truth
I recently visited a website that talked about the “ripple effect.” The metaphor’s been around a long time in evangelical circles. The idea that in a “moment of truth”. . . a critical “turning point” moment, you make a splash that creates a wave that goes out from you and creates a wave that creates a wave and so on. Inarguable principle of physics or hydraulics or rock skipping and it makes some sense when you think about evangelism . . . the idea that everyone wins one who wins one, etc. Definitely a principle multi-level marketers leverage to the hilt.
But as a Jesus-follower, the idea of the ripple effect is actually backward. What if everything we do ripples back to Him? What if every single interaction with a co-worker, a neighbor, our children, our wives, the kid in the drive-thru window . . . what if every single “moment of truth” is an opportunity to create a ripple of praise back to the Father? A thousand times a day, chances to be the smile, hands, feet, wallet, hug, ears, eyes and heart of Jesus in that moment. The ripple of love spreads first to the person you’re loving on, then through other people who are watching here on earth, then through angels who are watching from Heaven. (Gabriel: “Hey . . . Michael . . . did you see that? Did you see what he did? Yahweh’s going to love this!”) Our Heavenly Father beams. He’s the one who stimulated you through the Holy Spirit . . . you simply did your part. You lived out the Second Commandment and “loved your neighbor as yourself.”
One day last week, I picked up three different devotionals and each pointed to the same thing . . . “Give us this day our daily bread”. Interpreted: Focus on today. The right now. Not tomorrow and not yesterday. Later in the day, I looked up and on the wall of this place is the painting of the old man with his hands together, head bowed, thanking God for the loaf on his plate . . . his daily bread. I thought, “Okay, God, I get it.”
The challenge with moments of truth is we never know when they’re happening. Everything we do . . . every interaction . . . offers the opportunity to reflect Jesus, both to the world and to our Abba in heaven. The presence of mind to live intentionally, moment by moment, comes only when we slow ourselves down, put things in perspective, connect with Him, and realize the ripple begins with our attention to the Holy Spirit in the moment. God rarely speaks to us in a crowd. He rarely chooses to interrupt our talk radio host or rock music station. He prepares us for moments of truth in moments of silence. Unplug from culture and plug into your Heavenly Father. He’ll use you to create a ripple effect of glory to the King of Kings.
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