Do you ever feel overwhelmed by what’s going on around you? It could be something in your immediate sphere, i.e. a personal problem, challenge with someone close to you, etc. Or it could be the enormity of what’s transpiring on a much broader scale, i.e. in our Church, our country, or the world. Especially with the latter, the thought often is, “there’s nothing I can do”.
Here’s a story that involves starfish to refute that point. Btw, a quick internet search indicates that while starfish are living creatures, all 1,600 species, they aren’t really fish. Anyhow, there’s a boy who’s walking down the beach after a storm, where numerous starfish have washed up on the shore. Every couple steps, he bends over, picks up a starfish and throws it into the water, with the hope of saving its life. He’s walking on the beach for quite a while, saving (hopefully) dozens and dozens of starfish.
Coming from afar in the opposite direction, is an old man who can see what the boy is doing over the course of several hundred yards. Having taken note of him, he says as he approaches, “hey boy, what are you doing?” The boy, startled, looks at the old man, being caught by surprise and having a laser focus on the starfish he is endeavoring to save. He looks back down, picks up another starfish, and throws it into the ocean.
So engrossed in what he’s doing, the boy didn’t look to respond to the old man, but kept walking, picking up the next and the next starfish. The old man yelled out to the boy again, this time in a voice sure to get his attention, “hey boy, what are you doing?” The Boy responded this time, saying “these starfish washed up on the shore in the storm. I’m picking them up and throwing them back so that they can live”.
The old man chuckles sarcastically and says as he’s passing by, “boy, look up and down this beach. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of starfish. You’re never going to save all of them”. Without losing a step, the boy picks up another starfish and yells to the old man to get his attention. When the old man turns, looking straight into his eyes, the boy throws another starfish back into the water and says, “I saved that one, didn’t I”.
“I saved that one, didn’t I”. Think about it. A smile. A handshake. Asking someone how their day is going. Buying a colleague a coffee. Calling a friend out of the blue. Visiting an elderly relative. I’m reminded of the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:35-40 or Mark 12:28-34) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), where Jesus tells us what is most important….love God, love our neighbors, and share our faith.
Not only can we make an impact…one soul at a time, but if more people made such an impact, think about the Church, country, and world we would have.
As always, feel free to contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!