Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A boy and the Starfish

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said… “I made a difference for that one.”

A couple of years ago I stood before a crowd of participants at the local college. They were all there for a sleep out. The sleep out was to help those without housing and to promote the awareness of homelessness in the United States, possibly the world. I stood in front of those eager to learn from what I had to say. I spoke with tears because of the assistance I had recieved while trying to build my home with the help of our local Habitat Affiliate and also what I was moving out of and into.

After building my home, getting the hours that were required, paying our downpayment only days before our dedication, and continuing the house payments that I had agreed to make on my home, I still gave back. I felt with the help and support of all of the classes, the board members, and all of the homeownership classes I recieved was wonderful, and I too felt like one of the starfish that was saved. my family and I were blessed with this wonderful home. I continued to volunteer. I continued to give. But this story was not to tell others what I did. It was to let those who give and volunteer that the little boy in that story was them when they did something to help.

Issues at home began to make it difficult for me to give what I could, but I have still continued to volunteer when possible, in my own ways. I still want to be that boy who makes a difference in this world. I often feel terrible, not being able to do as much as I want, but I have an issue. When I get pulled into helping, I tend to over-do what I am helping with.

I have been watching how much I help, but I still have an urgancy for me to be involved and to volunteer for things that I feel very important. It's not that Habitat is not important for me at this point in time, it's just that if I get involved again, it just won't be the same for me.

As some of you may know, another passion of mine is historical. I spend hours researching my heritage. about 7-8 months ago I got to attend a local Historical Society. While sometimes I have a problem getting to the meetings due to DH's work hours, I have been able to assist them with at least getting a blog of historical information started, and as I continue to save information on the history of some of the people and the Township in which I live I feel like I am giving back to my community. I am hoping to be able to learn how to put a website together and give them a better site full of more information.

I feel that God has brought me to the place I am today. He opens the doors/windows/ peeks of light through which when we find the opening, it is up to us to recognize this and to use those to go in the direction of which we are destined. Yes, I was destined to do all of the things that I have done and yes I believe I am destined to do the things yet to come before me. You cannot have high points without the lows. You cannot learn that the good things that have happened without having the lows, or how would you know the difference? Both give you good lessons in which you may or may not want to happen- but if you look at what just happened and learn from it, that's the best part. It also teaches me that the old can also learn from the young.

I wanted to share this story about the boy and the starfish with you for a reason. There are very many lessons to learn here, but you have to want to learn from it. Like I said, I have used this in a presentation and it has a very special meaning to me. I felt I needed to share this with you - not only for you to come to know this beautiful story- but to remind myself of what I have came through and what I have accomplished within my life- Also to remind myself that I must always give back, no matter how difficult it is. There are little things that one may not realize that may save someone, and you just may not realize it.

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