Saving the starfish

starfishHow can I make a difference with all the homeless in our own community?

How can I help to stop the sex trafficking here or around the world?

How can I help to feed those who are going hungry tonight?

How can I help those who are hurting or are lost?

It doesn’t take too much for it to seem like the task at hand is overwhelming and impossible. So many times, we become numb or paralyzed and don’t know what to do. “It doesn’t really matter what I do; it’s not going to make a difference,” we tell ourselves.

I can’t tell you how many times — just this year — I’ve heard this over and over.

Many of us have big dreams and ambitions to make a difference; but, the task at hand is just too much.

For any one of the needs I listed in the beginning of this blog, there are many different sources trying to help. It could be the local food bank, homeless shelter, or the multiple agencies working around the clock to free those in bondage. But as I look around, all the needs aren’t being met.

So, how can I make a difference?

Save the starfish

Many of you have either heard or read the story of the Starfish.

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it u  and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

— Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley


Sometimes a simple story, or the innocence of a child, is a great reminder of the difference one person can make. One person can be contagious and bring about change.

So, when you’re confronted with a thousand Starfish in front of you, just bend over, pick one up, and put it back in the water. You’ll make a difference, one Starfish at a time.


Mike_KlockenbrinkMike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church in Folsom, CA. Mike worked for W.W. Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years in many different capacities. In January 2000, Mike quit climbing the corporate ladder and started climbing the Kingdom ladder. Klockenbrink can be reached at


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