The Calm after the Storm

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Last week Winter Storm Riley slowly moved over and past the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One of my favorite things to do after a storm is to walk the shoreline and see what kind of treasures it uncovered. Friday morning after dropping my daughter off at school I headed over to the beach for my regular morning walk and found one lonely starfish that as soon as I picked up realized he was still alive. I quickly tossed him back in but it reminded me of the poem, "The Starfish". (by Philip J. Kocisko)

One day an old man was walking down the beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As the old man approached the young man, he asked, "Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?" The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. The old man exclaimed, "But there must be thousands of starfish. How can your efforts make any difference?" The young man looked down at the starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said, "It makes a difference to this one!"

At times in our lives, we are all the old man, the young man, or the starfish. Sometimes, as the old man, we don't see the purpose to actions. Sometimes, as the young man, we persevere and make a difference. And sometimes, we are the starfish who just need a little help.

That afternoon as soon as I got off of work I went back to a different location and found starfish after whelk after clam after starfish. The ones still living I threw back, the ones that had dried up I collected to give them new life in an arts and craft project and the whelk shells, well I found the most perfect whelk shell only to realize that the whelk was still inside. I pressed on it to ensure it was still living, yep, she gave a quick squirm so back in the ocean she went. On cold days I get frustrated, I am not a fan of the cold, then something reminds me of the beauty and gift that living on the Outer Banks offers.

James 1:2-5 - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials (storms) of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

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