The Domino Effect

I remember setting up the domino’s in a line across the hardwood floor and curving it around in an ‘S’ then hitting the first one and watching them all fall down. We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives or at least seen it done by others. I remember seeing some sort of competition that must have taken months to construct, then watching how each one touched the other and branched off until they had all fallen. Wow, to have that kind of time again. But it seems we do have that kind of time, we just never see all of the effects of the dominos falling.

I was recently reflecting on the lives I’ve come in contact with over the past 66 years of my life. Some of them I’ve affected for good, some for bad, some I was unaware of, some through people I had spoken to. I’ve affected them by a look, a word, a song, a tear, a touch, perhaps in ways I will never know until I stand before God. I’ve been lied to and I have lied. I’ve been misunderstood and I’ve misunderstood, been judged and judged others fairly and unfairly. I’ve been critical and been criticized. I’ve seen things I was not meant to see, exposed and covered, and I have been betrayed and have been a betrayer.

I know this sounds a bit melancholy especially for me, but it’s reflections like these that make me so grateful for the grace of God. Perhaps I should capitalize that word, GRACE. I don’t think I’ve ever realized what a gift it is. When I’ve spoken out of hurt-GRACE. When I’ve misunderstood-GRACE. But it isn’t just when it’s on the receiving end, it’s most powerful when it’s on the GIVING end. When I’ve been hurt-I can GIVE GRACE. When I’ve been betrayed- I can GIVE GRACE.

Grace is the domino effect I want to focus on today. Not on all the stuff I’ve done but can’t change. Living in the past is futile, but extending the grace of God to others is investing in their future as well as my own. Each time I touch someone with Gods Grace, His undeserved and unmerited favor, I’m affecting their lives for the good and each life they touch will be linked forever with the first domino, Jesus. His act of falling into us has touched more lives then any competition domino game I’ve ever seen. It’s far reaching, circling the globe from the north to the south, from the east to the west.

Ha, I wonder what Jesus thinks of being called a domino? You know what I mean though, right? If I dwell on the missed opportunities to show Grace, then I’m missing the ones that are right in front of me. Better to pursue opportunities then look for lost ones. And isn’t that the whole point of Gods Grace? The past remains there and the future is wide open for us. Once a domino falls forward, everything follows suit.

I’m never one to spend a lot of time looking back. I’ve told people for years, you can’t drive somewhere looking in the rearview mirror. That’s an accident waiting to happen! What’s behind you is to be glanced at, learned from but never to be focused on.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, your hope and your future. Be His Grace to those in your life. He’s great at taking care of our past AND our future.

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