Pastor Dave  

The Ripple Effect



I am sure that most everyone reading this article has at one point in their life picked up a stone, thrown it into a glassy looking lake, and watched the ripple effect as it spread to different parts of the shore.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go salmon fishing with a friend on Vancouver Island near Gold River, BC. I will never forget the beauty of a salt water inlet, totally calm and unperturbed by wind at 5 AM. I will also never forget the beauty of a 30 pound Spring salmon leaving the water and making a splash near the boat. All you had to do was look for the ripple.

Wikipedia describes the Ripple Effect as “ever expanding ripples across water when an object is dropped into it.” Nature has a tragic way of demonstrating the power of the Ripple Effect. The Tsunami that hit the Pacific coast of Tohoku was due to a 9.0 Miyagi earthquake that occurred 70 kilometres offshore at a depth of 32 kilometres. The Ripple Effect created waves up to 40.5 metres in height, moved Honshu Island 2.4 metres east, and shifted the earth on its axis between 10-25 cm.

It can be seen in relational dysfunction when one’s attitude can have an effect on many in an ever expanding circle of influence: eg. Dad gets angry with Mom, Mom gets angry with kids, kids get angry at the dog, and the dog takes out its anger on the cat. Like a game of stand up dominos, we can see the impact that one falling can have on many.

I loved the movie, “Pay It Forward.” A young lad played by Haley Joel Osment came up with an idea to make the world a better place by putting into practice a phrase coined by Ann Herbert, “practicing random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Through initiating an act of kindness Haley created a Ripple Effect by requesting that it be paid forward to third party beneficiaries instead of to himself, what sociology calls “generalized reciprocity.”

We can see the Ripple Effect of what a Vancouver Canucks loss had on the city of Vancouver and the reputation of Canada. The fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by police officers in London, England has led to looting, arson, burglary, and rioting. Civil unrest has broken out in other parts of the nation leading to an estimated £200-million worth of damage.

We see what global impact that Standard and Poor’s news of downgrading the US credit rating had on the value of world stocks and monetary units. Now, many economists are speaking about a double-dip recession, and one that we may not easily pull ourselves out of. For some, they are using the word depression.

Many economies are fragile. Many companies are as lean as they can get. Many Canadian households have been living off of their savings and RRSP’s, and have come to an end of unemployment benefits. Governments are breaking under the stress and have little to fall back on because of the weight of debt they are carrying. We can’t keep spending more than we are making without impacting not only ourselves but also generations to come.

Unfortunately, consequences are not always that easy to see. This is especially true when we are not looking for them, and if they take a long time to become noticeable. The myth that we can evade the consequences of our actions pervades the modern world.

Ripple Effects can be positive or negative in impact. It is a principle of life: we reap what we sow, and if we sow the wind we will reap the whirlwind. Let’s make sure the ripples we are making these days have a positive impact.

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About the Author

Dr. David Kalamen is founder and lead pastor of Kelowna Christian Center (KCC). Married to Carleen for 35 years, they and their family, all living and working in Kelowna, have together been ministering to the people of this region for over 25 years. David cares deeply about the citizens of Kelowna and the state of the city, causing him to develop the Houses of Mercy program to help build compassionate community.

His column "Oh! Canada!" reflects his love for the Canadian people and this nation, and brings a refreshing perspective to local and national issues of common concern.

David has spoken at national and international conferences that have dealt with a wide range of leadership issues touching Christianity, politics, social justice, mercy missions and business. That call has taken him to over 20 nations. He has served on the General Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and is presently a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute. David has authored a book, Life Purpose that has sold broadly throughout Canada.

If you want to contact Pastor Kalamen about this week's column please e-mail [email protected], call (250) 762-9559, or write to KCC at 905 Badke Road, Kelowna, V1X 5Z5.

Useful websites are:
Kelowna Christian Center: www.kcc.net
Heritage Christian School: www.heritagechristian.ca
Heritage Christian Online: www.onlineschool.ca
Global Ministry Training Center: www.gmtc.ca

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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