The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. –Ann Landers
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. –Edmund Burke
OML Day 27 – Starfish: Making a World of Difference —
I often think that I don’t have the money or power that I need to make a difference in the world. But God tells me to not underestimate the power of one. Sure, there is strength in numbers, but only if the numbers take action. Otherwise, the numbers are useless. Same thing for the one. You can do much if you make the time and take the action. Each one of us has the ability, every single day, to be used by God to bless the rest of the world.
The Power of One
A businessman visiting a resort community left his hotel one morning to take a stroll along the beach. He came upon the sight of countless starfish washed up from high tide the night before. They were all struggling to make their way back to the ocean. He knew they would all be baked by the sun in a short while and he wished there was something he could do but there were thousands, and there was no way he could save them all.
So, he walked on. Further down the beach, he came upon a small boy who was frantically scooping up the starfish, one at a time, throwing them like frisbees back into the ocean, trying to save as many as possible.
The man, realizing what the boy was trying to do, felt responsible in sharing a harsh life lesson. He walked up to the boy and said, “What you are doing is honorable, but you can’t save them all. There are thousands. The sun is getting hot and they’ll soon all die. You might as well go on your way and play. You really can’t make a difference here.”
The boy stared at the businessman for a moment. Then he picked up another starfish and flung it into the ocean as far as he could throw, and said, “Well, I just made all the difference for that one.”
Often, children teach us more than we can teach them. This child did not allow the magnitude of the situation to keep him from doing what he could do: save one starfish at a time.
If we touch just one life, we may make the difference between life and death–physical as well as spiritual–for another human being. We can make it a habit to do whatever we can, whenever we can, wherever we can, and we will be transformed as we help another.
Make it Count
How often do you let opportunities pass you by because your contribution feels too small? What are the starfish situations in your life? Do you tend to respond more like the boy or the businessman? Why?
We offer our bodies as living sacrifices when we give of our time, our talent, and our treasure. If you want to experience the full adventure that your life is intended to be, then you have to take action and serve those in need with God’s love. In this way, you sacrifice something no one else can give. You are giving part of your time to someone else. No one controls this commodity but you. How you spend your time reveals what’s planted in your heart.
Every one of us has at least one talent that you can use to help someone else. Your expertise in the job you’ve worked, for instance, be it construction, banking, baking, sales, medicine, education, listening, caring. You can offer a smile, a hug, a helping hand. There is nothing too small that can help someone else in a big way. Just being present in their life, giving them your attention is a gift and a talent.
If you have been blessed financially, you can place value in that money and your possessions by how you use them. First, enjoy what you have instead of wanting more. And second, give generously.
Finally, working in community is another way we grow in maturity and how we create a world-conscious heart. Whether it be with our churches, schools, companies, neighborhoods, or our families, we are called to come together to help others.
“For just as you have many members in one physical body and those members differ in functions, so we, though many in number, compose one body in Christ and are all members of one another. Through the grace of God we have different gifts” (Romans 12:4-6, Phillips). Together we can literally change the world.
Go out there and make it a wonderous Wednesday! Take a risk. Make a change. Change your life, or even better, make a positive difference in the life of another. Love you! *hug*