The stubborn get their just deserts; likewise the good get what they deserve. The simple believe anything but the wise think before they act. The wise are circumspect and avoid evil, but the fool acts without thought, discarding moderation. The hotblooded act foolishly and the conniver is despised. The simple are dressed up with folly, but the wise are crowned with understanding. [Proverbs 14:14-18]
In recent years a fascinating school of thought has gained ground in scientific theory centred around the so-called Chaos Theory. The proposition behind this is that something as tiny as the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings in Australia could have far reaching consequences in Europe or that a pebble falling in a Saharan oasis might ultimately influence conditions on the Antarctic ice sheet.
How true the theory is remains to be scientifically demonstrated; however, I don’t know about you but when I consider the last year and how the possibility that someone purchasing an animal from a wet market in Wuhan led to the death of nearly 2.5 million people around the world and 106 million people catching Covid-19 – well, maybe that Chaos Theory has got something going for it. And if we put Covid19 to one side (if that is possible) we can see that ignoring the consequences of our own little actions can lead ultimately to the climate change that we see every day around the world. So many actions can have consequences far greater than we might expect.
I am not just talking about putting recyclable stuff in the wrong bin, either! An angry word, an error of judgement or a split second of carelessness can set in motion a catastrophic chain of cause and effect … you only have to listen to the world news to see what can happen when a leader takes the wrong road!
For all of us, before we act, we need to think about where our actions might lead. Surely Covid has taught us that.
And above all, in our response to God – that time when we decide to obey God’s commandments or not, whether we listen to the guidance and prompting of the Spirit – we need to consider the consequences for us, for others and for God.
As we journey into Lent, we are given this time to pause and reflect on both what we do, and why.
God bless and keep safe,