Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Starfish Flinger

Copied from "One Month to Live" by Kerry and Chris Shook

A businessman visiting a resort community left his hotel early one morning to take a walk. When he reached the shoreline, he came upon a stunning sight: countless starfish had washed up on the beach during the night in a high tide. They were still moving, still alive, clambering all over one another, trying to get back into the ocean. He knew it wouldn't be long until the tropical sun would bake the poor creatures trapped there on the sand. He wished he could do something, but there were thousands of them, as far as his eye could see, and there was no way he could make a dent in saving them.

So he went on his way. Walking farther down the beach, he came upon a little boy who leaned over, scooped up a starfish and flung it like a Frisbee into the ocean. He repeated the process over and over again, picking up speed, obviously trying to save as many as possible.

Once the man realized what the little boy was doing, he felt it was his responsibility to help the boy by informing him of a harsh life lesson. He walked up to the child and said, "Son, let me tell you. What you're doing here is noble, but you can't save all these starfish. There are thousands of them. The sun's getting really hot, and they're all going to die. You might as well just go on your way and play. You really can't make a difference here."

The little boy didn't say anything at first; he just stared at the businessman. Then he stooped down and picked up another starfish, flung it out into the ocean as far as he could, and said, "Well, I just made all the difference for that one."

I read that story last night and it couldn't have come at a better time. It's funny how the world works sometimes. I had been so down on myself lately about my whole situation - just sure that things were not going to ever get any better - just sure that I wasn't make a difference - just sure that I was "stuck" where I was. If Derek and I hadn't decided to go on a mini-date to Sonic, and the system at Sonic hadn't gone haywire causing us to sit there and wait for 30 minutes, then I never would have picked up the book that has been in the floorboard of the van for months. I wouldn't have read that story at just the right time. The right time for me to see that I don't have to save the world today ... I just have to keep flinging starfish. My story might make "all the difference for that one".

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