Pick Up Your Starfish, Make a Difference

In the Philippines, summer is upon us. The month of March calls to mind images of nice, sandy beaches and energetic youth who will be moving on from college life to join the corporate world, pursue an entrepreneurial venture, or practice a profession that he or she was trained to do.

Youth and beaches remind me of a story called The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley. Let me tell you briefly about it first and then later on, we will see how it relates to Stewardship:

A man was walking along the beach when he chanced upon a young man on the seashore. The young man was picking up something from the sand and throwing it gently into the ocean.

The man asks the young man: “What are you doing?”

The young man replies: “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“Why are you doing that?” The man asks again.

The young man explains: “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

The man continues: “But young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it, you can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened and then bent down and picked up another starfish and threw it back into the sea. Pausing briefly, he replies to the man: “It made a difference to that one.”

What is the point of the story? Most of the time, we (old and young alike), like to dream big dreams. Most people may aim to accomplish things that will move the world and figure that if something is not going to be “grand” enough, it might not be worth doing at all or it wouldn’t make a difference if we did it or not.

Well, let us recall what Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “In this life, we can do no great things. We can only do small things, with great love.”

Stewardship, as it is defined, invites all individuals, no matter what your age or stage in life, to find the eternally young man or woman in you, pick up a starfish and make a difference. Sure, we can’t send all kids to school. We can’t feed everyone who is hungry. We can’t help all the poor parishes in our country or in the world. We can’t build each homeless person a roof over his or her head. We can’t help everybody grow in their spiritual life. But we can help some. We can help a good number. With each individual’s help and commitment, we can do numerous small things, wherever it is that we may find ourselves.

Stewardship invites everyone to share their time, talent, and treasure with the Lord and with others. We have been blessed with much so we can be blessings to others too. Giving back to the Lord and to others is a way by which we express our gratitude to the Lord who is the Source of all the good that we have. It is a way by which we say to the Lord: “Everything I have is Yours.”

Let us all be star throwers. Pick up a starfish. Make a difference. For the smallest deed of goodness done is much better than the greatest of intentions planned.

If you would like to start by picking up one starfish and making a difference to that one, you may want to find an organization or parish that you can work with on a regular basis. You may also e-mail me through this site if you are willing to help us out at Christ The King Stewardship. I will then get in touch with you to explain how you can help to make Christ the King Greenmeadows the true stewardship parish that it was meant to be.

Have a great summer!

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