Friday, June 23, 2006

what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me?

The tide had thrown thousands of starfish onto the beach.

Unable to return to the ocean, they were dying. Then a young beachcomber saw their plight and began picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the water.

One watching his seemingly futile effort observed: "There are thousands of starfish here. You can't possibly throw enough of them back to make a difference."

Ignoring the criticism, the young man picked up another starfish and tossed it back into the waves.

"It made a difference to that one," he said.

After preaching on Proverbs 22:6 last week, I've thought further about the awesome responsibility and privilege it is to invest in the life of another, especially a/your child.

It's easy to examine the current generation of youth and lament the apparent negatives, just as it's easy to sit on the beach and watch starfish die, even being counterproductive in the process.

Yet, what's hard and what makes a difference is investing in the life of another, particularly a young person. It will at least make a difference to that one, but likely more as that person affects others, for what we do in life echoes in eternity.
I know we're all pretty small in the big scheme of things, and I suppose the most you can hope for is to make some kind of difference, but what kind of difference have I made? What in the world is better because of me? -Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt in "About Schmidt"
Rightly we should ask, "What kind of difference have I made?" But perhaps the follow up question is not so much what but "Who in the world is better because of me?"


At 27 June, 2006 22:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good teacher can turn the tide in a bad student's life. In too many years, not one single soul has mentored me or encouraged me in a meaningful way. Praise to God, HE has. Now, because of the HOLY SPIRIT and knowing truth, I don't need it. I lied. No matter, what age one is. He is a child growing up and will be until graduation day.

Pay attention, pastors. Go tend the flock. Let's go. Hey, I want to go with you. All we need is to see one starfish. The man you meet tomorrow may just be that starfish.

Good illustration. I can not express to anyone the joy of trowing a starfish back into the sea. God through this starfish back. Out of love and appreciation for our LORD, may we through as many as possible. The opportunites are daily and sometimes, God will send a special starfish. You have to take off your shoes and wade in the ocean to find that starfish.

"It made a difference to that one,"


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