To celebrate our 20th anniversary several years ago, my husband and I journeyed to a beach outside the old city of Charleston, South Carolina. Arriving in the early evening, we headed straight for the shore. Mostly deserted by the day’s visitors, it offered quiet and peace from a full day of travel.
I saw it first as we walked on the water’s edge…a little starfish stranded in the sand, just out of the surf’s reach. Carefully, I picked the little starfish up with my sandal as we looked at its detail. It began to move slightly, signaling that it was still alive. After a quick photo with the small creature, we tossed it back in its watery home. My husband and I watched as the starfish rode a wave and then sank into the sea.
There are several poems about a little starfish stranded in the sand, and the person who comes along, deciding to return it to the sea instead of making it a keepsake. It doesn’t matter much in the scheme of things, but to that little starfish it means everything!
Sometimes the things we accomplish in life may seem to us like nothing more than throwing one little starfish back into the tide, but that is not the truth. We are all given gifts, and the responsibility to use them. We all touch the lives of others all around us–and only in the end will we find out how much we have truly done. Things like being friendly to the unlovely and unpopular, helping someone who’s ill, letting someone have something we wanted for ourselves, teaching our children to treat everyone equally–these things can seem like little starfish compared to what another has accomplished. But nothing done out of love and service to God, no matter how small the act may seem, fails to make a difference to someone. And I’m sure the little starfish would agree!
“For we are God’s (own) handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.) Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified Bible)