Is it possible for an ordinary person with a typical family, living in an unremarkable house near a middling town, doing routine chores and regular activities to radically change the lives of millions of people a world away?
Yes. Any action you take, no matter how seemingly insignificant, sets in motion reactions from others, who in turn influence those near them. Like ripples in a pond your initial choice spreads through your family, community, and beyond … sometimes with breathtaking results. It matters not how plain or inconsequential you think you are.
New York Times bestselling author and speaker Andy Andrews chronicles this in his book The Butterfly Effect, How Your Life Matters. “Everything you do matters,” he says. “Every move you make, every action you take … matters. Not just to you, or your family, or your business, or your hometown. Everything you do matters to all of us forever.”
Heroism resides in each of us. Not necessarily the type to be reported in the local news but world-changing none the less. Andrews explains how a concerned Susan Carver wrote a letter and as a result 150 years later over two billion lives have been saved. Her simple act saved the life of a kidnapped infant who was raised as George Washington Carver. He influenced a young boy named Henry Wallace who developed a love of agriculture and as an adult became Vice President of the United States. During his tenure Wallace established a research station to study drought resistant grains, naming the young Norman Borlaug as its head. Under those auspices Borlaug developed the seeds that are to this day beating back starvation on virtually every continent, saving billions of lives.
Yet none of the events would have happened without a few dozen concerned words penned one night by Susan Carver. If her ordinary actions can make a difference, yours can too.
Paul, writing to his friends in Rome, describes the importance of taking “your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Through this simple action you will make a positive difference in your own life and begin to counterbalance the culture around you.
In his book Andrews makes a convincing argument as to the fundamental value in each of us. “There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.”
This describes the importance of your personal ministry. Simply by doing those things you enjoy and are passionate about while including others, by reaching out beyond yourself and using your strengths in a positive way, you are influencing your community, your nation, and your world.
Andrews expresses similar thoughts, “You have been created as one of a kind. On planet Earth, there has never been one like you … and never will be again. Your spirit, your thoughts and feelings, your ability to reason and act all exist in no one else. The rarities that make you special are no mere accident or quirk of fate.”
You matter. Every single thing you do is important. Through your typical, seemingly trivial choices throughout the day you are setting in motion events and changing lives. This is your personal ministry. If you want to be inspired into a more complete understanding of your value, I recommend you find a copy of Andy Andrews’ The Butterfly Effect, How Your Life Matters. Read it, pass it on to a friend, and change the world.