Pondering the ripple effect of our actions, words

I’ve noticed something very unflattering in recent months.

Underneath my mild demeanor is a lot of emotion and it’s not always pretty. It’s not far beneath the surface either. It often comes up when someone is rude at the grocery store or on the highway. Or when someone acts like this virus is no big deal — this pandemic that has changed all our lives in a drastic way.

What helps me reset my mind is to remember to be grateful for God’s blessings and to be reminded that all my actions matter. From the book “Devote 40 Days” is an encouraging story of how our simple acts can have profound results.

Sherri Coale, University of Oklahoma women’s basketball coach, native of Healdton, Oklahoma, writes about “The Ripple”:

When I was a little girl, I used to go pond fishing with my dad. He would cast his line, effortlessly, way out into the middle of the pond, and I would splash mine, awkwardly, barely beyond the moss that glued the banks of red Oklahoma dirt to the muddy water that we worked diligently for fish. I would stand on the bank, my toes inches away from the water’s edge and watch the ripple race back to me only seconds following my chaotic cast. And I would stand, likewise, waiting — and waiting and waiting — on the water’s crawl following my dad’s gentle toss.

Funny thing was, no matter what, a ripple always came back.

I was mesmerized by that as a kid. I would watch the circle surrounding my dad’s line expand and reach until it died into the earth under my toes. And it happened every time. How in the world could something so slight be so persistent? I used to marvel at it for hours, though I never really knew why. And then one day, long after I’d put that fishing pole away, I figured it out.

It was simple. Everything matters.