Some of you have heard the story about a man walking along the beach noticing that some strange tide had stranded hundreds of perishing starfish. As the man walked along he saw a young boy picking up starfish and hurling them into the surf. The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy answered, “saving the starfish.” The man said, “There are hundreds how do you hope to make a difference, you could spend all day here and not even make a dent. And besides, what does it matter anyway?” The boy looked at the starfish in his hand and hundreds on the beach. He looked back at the man as a resolved smile came across the boy’s face and said, “it matters to this one”, and threw it into the life-giving waters of the ocean.
I know you have probably heard some version of this story before, but what always gets me is that when it comes to getting out there and living our faith we can so easily just walk on by. Yet, Jesus so clearly stated:
Matthew 22:37-39 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
We are to love God, love people, and show it. To love God is to obey God, to live life His way, to get about His purposes and do the good works of God.
Matthew 5:16 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
1 Peter 2:12 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Yet, there is a big temptation to just observe others doing it and choose to not jump in and help or do something. We get overwhelmed with how big of a job it is to make a difference in the world or get confused and spend more energy on our comfort than God’s purposes, so we just walk on by and do nothing. As well, some don’t want to get involved because it was not their idea and they will not get the credit, or get recognition for this great accomplishment… and still they walk on by and do nothing.
Yet, I wonder, what if that man would have joined in and made just a little impact? Then maybe a few more would join in, then a few more, and a movement would get started. That beach could have been cleared in a relatively short time.
We live in a time where the tides of the world are leaving people stranded, perishing, and sad to say many people are just walking by preoccupied with their own issues and comforts. Sure there are the few who are out there doing all they can. Doing the good works of God, saving lives, but what if all who call themselves followers of Jesus would just look around and make the time and take the time to actively ‘love our neighbor’. How great an impact that would have! Oh, if you are wondering who is your neighbor just read Luke 10:25-37.
I wonder how that boy felt when he went home that day. I bet he knew he had made a little/big impact.
Just something to think about today…
Seeking to Make a Big/Little Impact with you,