Fractals? The first time I heard of this word was in the book The Shack, by William P. Young. I had no idea what it meant. Since then, I have come to not only know the meaning in my head, but to understand its deep implications in my heart.
So what exactly is a fractal? I really can’t tell you. I am a very simple minded person, and it seems unless you are a scientist or a mathematician (and I am neither one of those) the definition is hard to grasp.
We all know if we need information in today’s world, we Google it. So here is some of what I found for definitions of the word fractal.
“Any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size.” (Merriam-Webster)
“An object whose parts, at infinitely many levels of magnification, appear geometrically similar to the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation.” (Yahoo Dictionary)
So are you like me, and have to read the definitions slowly, and think about what you are reading? (If you want to pursue the definition further, you can find a whole slew of similar definitions by going here. thefreedictionary.com/fractal)
But I did find one definition that seemed to use more simple terms I could understand.
“A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale.” (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
So, putting all of this together, my understanding is that a fractal is a pattern which looks similar as a whole, but when examined at a deeper level, each piece is actually unique.
That brings me to something I have always enjoyed.
From the time I was a little girl, I am easily mesmerized by kaleidoscopes. I just love them, and have continued to buy them, even as an adult. Imagine my thrill when I discovered there are actually videos of these images set to music! (The Splendor of Color Kaleidoscope)
One day while watching one of these videos, I asked God why I love kaleidoscopes so much. He so graciously shared these seven things with me.
- All the broken pieces are made into something exquisitely beautiful
- Constant change doesn’t have to be something bad to dread, but something wonderful if I have the eyes to see it
- The patterns created are limitless, just like He is limitless in my life
- The external movement of force creates the internal movement of beauty
- It causes me to pause from whatever I am in the middle of, and just rest in the beauty of what is in front of me
- The changing swirling colors are a way on earth to have a representation of the beauty of the colors in heaven
- If I do my part, I am rewarded with the beauty of the kaleidoscope doing what it was made to do
Sounds kind of like a fractal to me; irregular pieces coming together to make a beautiful pattern for others to enjoy.
It also sounds a lot like my life. No wonder I love kaleidoscopes and fractals.
How about you? Do you see yourself as a bunch of broken pieces God is using to turn into a beautiful fractal?
And by the way, those who know me well, know that I am very naive and childlike when it comes to the “ways of the world”. Some people (including Christians) believe that is a bad thing in today’s world. I am thankful to be pure and innocent in so many areas most people are not. I say this, because I was quite surprised to read below the kaleidoscope video that it is used mostly to enhance the experience of those on drugs. I have no problem taking what was meant for the kingdom of darkness and bringing it into the Kingdom of Light!