This past autumn, I was with my parents over Thanksgiving. Dad is really in that stage of paring things down, giving things away.
This stage has lasted about 20 years now…
Going through his garage, I noted that he still had 3 or 4 big jars of old black sharks’ teeth from when he and mom walked along the Gulf Coast on various vacations. But so many sharks’ teeth! You’d think it would finally be “safe to go back in the water”, (I date myself again.)
I guess no one has made a claim for any of those yet. I’m thinking my brother in Minnesota…he likes to fish and all.
Living as I do in land-locked territory, it’s a treat to walk along a real beach when the waves roll in then roll out, and see all the little creatures scurrying their way back into the sand, back to life and safety. Which segs me into the old starfish story I love, adapted from the pen of author Loren Eisaley: a man sees a young boy walking along the beach throwing starfish, stranded by the outgoing tide, back into the sea. With miles of beach, he asked how the boy thinks this feeble effort would make any difference, to which the boy replies,
“It makes a difference to this one,”
…as he tosses it back into the life-giving water.
Professionally, I’m a nurse. To be a nurse in this world, you have to be just this side of crazy. To be a nurse in the public school system reduces that distance by about half. That’s me. And any of my colleagues can attest to the “overwhelming-ness” of the challenges for children, families, and those trying to educated them all.
Then there’s the bombings in Beirut, shootings in schools, terrorists, disease, famine. Or global warming, if you wish. Fully a plethora of heart-wrenching tears to choose from. Where do you begin? Does it even matter?
Why even try?
Then the words of Paul echo in my mind:
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed… Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you…All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up.”
So who am I to give up??
Find the starfish that God puts right in front of you…
…do it today.
1 Corinthians 2:4-18 Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.