The Ripple Effect

Last November, Rod shared James Goss’s vision for Lifestreams’ 70th Anniversary; a place where a ripple effect starts which impacts the nations.  On C2C Sunday, Luke also talked about this ripple effect and how through C2C we are already touching our Community, City, Country and Cosmos (world).

Just recently I read the following in John Ortberg’s Life Changing Love.

When you throw a stone into a pond, the stone will create ripples that reach to the shore all the way round – but only if the pond is still…  When the pond is not still, when the surface of the water is already ruffled and tossed, the arrival of the stone will go undetected.

I don’t really expect to create ripples that are going to be felt all around the world.  But what about my own pond; my own sphere of influence here in my family, neighbourhood, church or local community?  What effect am I having?  Is my surface so ruffled that anything I try to drop in can’t even be detected?   How can I create stillness in what sometimes feels like a whirlpool?

Psalm 46 verse 10 says:  Be still and know that I am God.  It is true that God can speak in the midst of a crisis, when I am so stressed I don’t know what to do next.  But His greatest desire is that I take time out to be with Him.  He wants to speak, and that means I need to be available to listen.  Going on the ‘Silence and Solitude’ Retreat was a great start.  It takes more effort to follow up by creating regular times of stillness where God can drop His stones (thoughts) into my mind, show me what steps to take in obedience to what He says so, in turn, there will an impact on those closest to me – and through them reach out further than I can imagine.  Only God knows what impact a still pond can have.

Unfortunately there’s a negative side to the ripple effect.  The other day I was sitting by the Canning River looking at a stretch of calm water.  Suddenly a head appeared, then disappeared again leaving a small circle of ripples disturbing the calm surface.  The little black cormorant was just going about its normal life.  But sometimes in our lives things pop up that also have a ripple effect; issues that haven’t been dealt with, feelings of insecurity, doubt, awkward relationships with family or friends.  I can keep pushing them back below the surface so that all appears calm, but some day they’re going to surface again.  Taking time to be still with God can be an opportunity for dealing with things that create negative ripples.

We can’t help creating some sort of ripples in life.  We want them to be positive ones.  Perhaps it all begins with being still and listening to God.


– Margaret Bardsley