Starfish on the Beach
There's a common modern-day parable that goes something like this:
One day an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed the tide had washed thousands of starfish up on the shore. Up ahead in the distance, he spotted a boy who appeared to be gathering up the starfish, tossing them one by one back into the ocean.
He approached the boy and asked him why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time.
The boy replied, "If these starfish are left out here like this, they will bake in the sun, and by this afternoon they will all be dead."
The old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, "But there must be hundreds of miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing a few back going to make anyway?"
The boy then tossed one more starfish into the ocean and replied, "It made a difference to that one!"
Sometimes it's hard to understand how we can truly make an impact in our world. We watch the news every night and see horror, heartache, and evil. There's no way a single person can ever change any of that. We can't stop wars, feed starving millions, or convince dictators to stand down.
We may not be able to save the world, but we can always work in our little corner of it. There are people around us, our friend, families, and neighbors, who need our help. There are things they can't do on their own. But we are here to help -- that's one of our purposes. We can show the love of Christ to others in practical ways. So like the boy on the beach, we may not be able to help everyone -- but we can certainly do our best with what God has given us to help as many as we can.