Weird title for a Thought for the Day huh? Well I hope it was interesting enough to get you to click on the link. Today I want to unpack the idea of being a “Chain Reaction Catalyst!” Now the term chain reaction may not be foreign but just so we are all on the same page, I will share the definition in the context of this post from what Dictionary.com defines Chain Reaction as:
A Chain Reaction is:
“a series of events in which each event is the result of the one preceding and the cause of the one following.”
Some examples of chain reactions, is what happens after the first stick is set ablaze in a book of matches or after the initial domino is pushed.
Now you probably have heard of a catalyst in relation to a chemical reaction. In preparation for this Thought, I googled “what are examples of a catalyst,” and this is one result I found:
“The catalytic converter in a car contains platinum, which serves as a catalyst to change carbon monoxide, which is toxic, into carbon dioxide.”
Why am I sharing this? Well it is because the dreaded “check engine light” is currently on in my car. The error code that I was told suggests I have a problem with my catalytic converter. And in the movie, Rachel’s step father also had an issue with his catalytic converter also. I found the coincidence too funny not to share. Okay “squirrel moment” is over…
Dictionary.com defines a Catalyst as:
a person or thing that precipitates an event or change
a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
So a Chain Reaction Catalyst is someone who causes a series of positive events to happen as a result of their influence. I believe that God desires every person who calls themselves a believer in Jesus to be bold in sharing their faith and being a world changer!
Last night I was watching the movie “I’m Not Ashamed” with my family about a girl who embodied what it means to be a Chain Reaction Catalyst. The movie came out last Fall (10/21/16) but unfortunately we missed seeing it in the Theaters.
For those who are not familiar, it is based on the inspiring and powerful true story of Rachel Joy Scott who was the first student killed in the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on the 18 year anniversary of that horrific day when 2 students went on a shooting spree. At the time, it was one of the nation’s most deadly mass shootings. This movie was incredible, not because of the acting, though it was good, or because of the screenplay, in which the way the story unfolded was exceptional. No, what made the film extraordinary for me was the fact that it was drawn from the actual journal writings of Rachel Joy Scott. A lot of the dialogue and scenes came straight from Rachel’s own words and were also influenced by her mother Beth. In the movie we catch a glimpse of her mother’s faith in action. Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) instructs us that we should:
There is no doubt that Rachael’s mom had a significant influence on the fine young woman she became and clearly trained her up in the way she should go. Rachel was just 17 years old when one of the shooters asked her “Do you believe in God?” She answered yes to the question even though she knew it would end her life. I was thankful that the movie handled this in a very sensitive way. I can remember that heart wrenching day like it was yesterday, and to this day I cannot hear the name “Columbine” without horror and sorrow welling up inside. As a new Christian, having only just given my heart to Jesus in August of 1998, Rachel being a devout believer, or “Christ Follower” resonated with me. What would I do if I was confronted with that question?
The movie title was based on Romans 1:16 (ESV):
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
It is undeniable that Rachel was not ashamed to the point of giving her life up for her faith.
As I sat on the couch with my 16 year old daughter watching the movie, there was a beautiful moment as a young Rachel traced her hands and wrote these prophetic worlds:
I found this on the memorial website for the Columbine High School shootings. What is unbelievably miraculous is that through her witness and death, Rachel’s story of compassion and love for her fellow students and desire to be a world changer has done just that. She reminded me a lot of my daughter who is just one year younger, who also was part of the school outreach program called “Rachel’s Challenge” which is an anti-bullying program that promotes Rachel’s belief that she wrote in an essay just a month before her murder:
That is so powerful!! We will never know how far a little kindness can go! It’s hard to believe this was penned by a 17 year old! The intent of Rachel’s Challenge is to start a chain reaction of the same kind of compassion in school’s everywhere!
The question I want to pose to you is…Do you want to be a world changer? Do you want to make a difference? Than we need to follow Rachel’s example and stand up for what we believe in, for what is right! Romans 12:2 (ESV) says:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We are instructed by the apostle Paul to be in the world but not of it! To be a catalyst of change, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to use us and guide us, even if others don’t understand or persecute us for our faith. We need to be unashamedly proud to be a Christ Follower. But that does not happen without work. Much like as an athlete has to train and discipline themselves to improve; we have to put in the work to grow in our faith. I shared in the post ★ Thought for the Day – Community That Matters ★ about Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT) which says:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
As our roots grow in Christ, our faith will be strengthened and we will be equipped to help others. Charles Stanley had this great life lesson on these 2 powerful verses from Colossians and the life we can have in Christ…
“How did you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? By faith. And that is exactly how you grow in maturity – by faith. The ability to accomplish all God has planned for you is within you through the presence, power, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. So if you wish to develop your relationship with Him and become all you were created to be, you must willingly surrender yourself to His promptings and trust Him, no matter what He commands you to do.”
You might not be able to change the whole world, but you can change the lives you come in contact with. Just like Rachel Scott, you never know how many lives you can change and what ripple effect will start but your single act of compassion. Whether it would be that person sitting alone at the lunch table at school or the person in the next cubicle that you know is going through a tough time or maybe a neighbor who does not know God well and needs to develop a relationship with Jesus. It all comes down to whether you be that match or that single domino that will be the Chain Reaction Catalyst that will make a difference not matter what the cost!
God has given everyone us talents, skills and gifts to impact this world. The question is…Are you using them for His glory? Or do you use then for your advantage or personal gain? I don’t mean that you take advantage of people or scam people but that you’re missing the opportunities God has provided to use your gifts to spur others on to deepen their faith! I will close with this quote from Rachel Joy Scott’s persona journal…
“I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus.”
Our lives are in God’s hands, we can make a world of difference if we are willing, and if we are not ashamed of our faith!
Go out today and be a Chain Reaction Catalyst!
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