The Boy and the Starfish: What you do makes a difference

An old man was doing his daily walk along the beach one morning, when he spotted a young boy crouched by the water, scooping something up from the sand and throwing it into the sea.

The beach was normally empty at this time of day, and so the old man stopped to watch for a while.

He noticed that the boy kept on shuffling a little further down the beach, then repeating this same action again and again – stopping, scooping, throwing, moving.

“What are you doing there, boy?” the old man asked, walking closer.

“I’m saving these starfish that are stranded” replied the boy, “if they stay on the beach they will dry out and die, so I’m putting them back into the ocean so they can live.”

The old man was silent for a few seconds.

“Young man” he said, “on this stretch of beach alone, there must be more than one hundred stranded starfish. Around the next corner, there must be at least one thousand more. This goes on for miles and miles and miles – I’ve done this walk every day for 10 years, and it’s always the same. There must be millions of stranded starfish! I hate to say it, but you’ll never make a difference.”

The boy replied, “well I just made a difference for that one” and continued with his work.


This is one of those stories that I keep returning to. It has changed my life. It keeps me moving forward when things seem to be slow and I am not sure we are making much ground. I remember that God can take a simple action, multiply it and see it bring much fruit. A bit like the Donkey story I shared last week, we just need to keep stepping, engage and allow the God factor to come into play.

Yes, our contributions, large or small, makes a difference to someone somewhere. As the starfish story reveals, God encourages us to give what we can. The task, like the boy’s task with the starfish, may appear to be mountainous, but every little bit helps and matters. So, what are you able to give today to strengthen and resource the men of this nation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?

For the cost of a couple of coffees a month or around $10 you can become a valued contributor to the PK mission. Remember every bit counts and so do you. If you want to contribute contact me by replying to this email or find out more [here].


Paul Monahan


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