I’m 42-years-old…the mid-way point…halftime…much has changed. I have come to realize that life moves too quickly…and that you can’t have today back once it’s gone. Each hour is precious…and each moment brings new adventure. I finally understand the theory of relativity…that time looks different depending on your vantage point. When I was 25-years-old life seemed to creep by…now it seems that a decade is but a blink of an eye. I’ve done much in my life…yet still don’t feel I’ve made my mark on the world. In the words of that great philosopher of the 20th Century Frank Sinatra, “I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king”…and yet there is still so much more that I want to do…to be…to become. As I close this chapter in my life…I know that another chapter will begin…and things will be different on so many levels. There is however, one thing that I’m sure will not change…my calling…my passion…that God-breathed thing that dwells within my heart…that which sustains my joy. For me…that thing is…the starfish.
I first read about the starfish in one of those cheesy “Chicken Soup For The Soul” books. It was a story about a kid walking on a beach where thousands of starfish had washed up on the shore…and were dying. One by one the kid was picking up those starfish that were still alive and throwing them back into the sea…back to life…back to redemption. An older man was watching the kid’s futile effort and said to him, “You can’t save all of them…there are too many. What difference can you possibly make to all these dying starfish?” As the kid picked up another starfish…and threw it back into the water…he replied to the old man, “I made a difference with that one!”
If growing older has taught me anything…it’s that I can’t change the world…but I can change the world around me. Every where I go…in everything I do…I see dying starfish in need of the life saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of them pass me by…heading through life struggling to really live…finally succumbing to eternal death. But there are others that God allows me to impact with His Word…to quench their dying thirst with His living water. All I do is plant the seeds…but the Holy Spirit allows that to grow…to impact…to make a difference. Yes my heart breaks when I see the thousands washed up on the desolate shore of everyday life…but every now and then I get to be a part of helping one back into the water. Whether it’s a baptism only a few days before their death like Pete…or seeing Scottie kick drugs forever…or simply buying a sleeping bag and instant coffee for Homeless Jason…I get the joy of knowing that God allowed me to make a difference in one…among many.
I’m 42-years-old…the mid-way point…halftime…much has changed…but for me…it’s still about the starfish!!!