Be the difference.
I am completely overwhelmed at the moment by the feeling that my heart is about to explode out of my chest. Immediacy is stalking me like a starving animal lowering itself to preying on the weak and vulnerable. Why? Well… Time has been placed before me and I feel there is a void that needs to be filled. How can I use this time to make a difference? In a world broken and battered by so much pain, who do I help? Can I help? Are my efforts worth much of anything?
My awareness of need and hurt in the world is not what I would describe as acute. There is issue after issue pulling my heart-strings every which way until they are all tangled into a violent mass of inaction. The issues this world faces today are innumerable and blighting, and personally, I am often overwhelmed by what issue I should be focusing my efforts on. I am sure that countless others can relate to this feeling. We don’t want to sit by and watch injustice wreak havoc on our fellow-man, but how do you attack an injustice that has wormed its way into all facets of life on earth.
A professor of mine once had attached to the end of an exam a story about a young man throwing starfish into the ocean. One by one he’d pick them up off the shore and throw them back into the water. A passerby inquired about why he was doing this explaining that he could never possibly expect to throw all the starfish back into the water before they died. The young man responded by throwing another into the ocean and explaining that however many starfish may need to be thrown back, it didn’t change that he had made a difference to that one. This is a much shorter and less eloquent version of an anecdote that has resounded in my thoughts ever since.
The idea that one person can make a difference is sometimes laughable when we look at the condition of the world today. It is something I have struggled with recently and I am positive is a cause of much inaction by individuals all over the world. Someone recently jarred these thoughts by asking me to think on a smaller scale about what could happen in the world if everyone only made a difference, however big or small, in one other person’s life. If all over the world we were not focused on moving mountains, but instead were each focused on moving the stone or even pebble placed before us hindering our way to the next one. The thought of that has given me hope. Imagine our world if everyone did what was in front of them and affected one other person at a time uninhibited by the abundance of wrong humanity faces today.
My window of opportunity is due to having very few hours left to complete my undergraduate degree, and not knowing which direction my life is heading, I think it wise to take my time and use it for good rather than face graduation not having a clue what’s next. I am not sure yet as to where I will go or what exactly I’ll be doing, but I do know that I have to go. My heart is being pulled to some place, to help some unknown person. My job is to stay focused on the hope I have that making a difference, however small it may be, can still impact the world and impart change, not only in the lives of others but also in my own.
“Therefore, since we are surronded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”