Sunday, December 17, 2006

Trickle Effect

After the fall Campus Crusade for Christ Portland Metro team meeting and delving into such things as prayer and evangelism I had the opportunity to discuss my thoughts with a friend. With his focus on missions, and my experiences recently in New Orleans and Ukraine, the conversation quickly turned to just that, missions. I was trying to express my amazement with how God works through what is commonly called the "Ripple Effect", being the impact that one persons action make, and how that action can be multiplied and reach farther then the intended audience of the ministry. But as those two common words rolled off my tongue it left a bitter aftertaste in my mind.

I think the implications in the imagery of a "Ripple Effect" is severely lacking the beauty found in the nature of God. Ripples are inherently formulaic. If I've learned anything from physics it is that equations can calculate the exact size of each ripple, and each subsequent ripple, based on the volume and velocity of the pebble.

I propose a swift change of this terminology to the "Trickle Effect". Here me out. A trickle is random, unpredictable, even spontaneous. It is ever breaking into smaller trickles only to reunite later, forming bigger more powerful streams. Some streams even break away and re-form the very surface they traverse. Some trickles tapper off and spread out and reach far edges that the main stream could never hope to reach. This is how God works.

In my reflection on New Orleans and Ukraine I can only begin to imagine all the people God has touched, many completely unexpected. A few who have been affected in one way or another: Myself, those affected directly by the actions, teammates, supporters, friends, family, coworkers, fellow students, church members, people who witness the actions first hand, all the stories I share when I get back, people who share the stories... This is a true demonstration of God at work, through the trickle effect.

David Knepprath


Melany said...

Interesting reflections. Futher, God can bring rivers from the most unexpected places. For example "He made streams come out of the the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers." Psalm 78:16, and "I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." Isaiah 41:18.

No matter how impossible a situation or mission field may seem, God is able to cause His living water to flow there. What is amazing is that He does indeed use us as part of the that "trickle effect".

David Knepprath said...

Very nice Scripture references Melany! They compliment my post very well, thanks!