Over twenty years ago, I became a special education teacher. I quickly realized that I couldn’t make a difference in every student’s life. But the Lord planted in me the idea that if I could make a difference in just one student’s life, I had accomplished something wonderful.
That’s when I learned the Story of the Starfish. It made such a huge impression on me that I hung a dried starfish on my desk lamp as a reminder (and it’s still there today).
The Starfish Story – Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
It’s the same idea the Lord spoke to me about my blog: Don’t pay attention to numbers. Write for individual people. If just one person is encouraged, that’s something wonderful.
Look around for your starfish – someone you can encourage, or maybe even introduce to Jesus. Now that’s something wonderful!
If you can suffer through the news these days, you will be familiar with the term “sound bite”. A sound bite is a short extract from a recorded interview, chosen for its pungency or appropriateness. Why not listen to (or read) some Jesus “sound bites”?
For the whole “speech”, go to the passage referenced. Let us consider how Jesus’ words apply to us today.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”John 8:7
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28
“My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:26
“When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.” John 12: 44-45
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” John 13: 13-16
(Jesus’ prayer to the Father) “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:26
“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21
These are a few of the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we meditate on them and ask ourselves how we can apply them to our lives today.