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The Value of One Soul

Do you remember what it was like to be spiritually lost? Do you remember when life seemed like an unsolvable puzzle or maybe even a cruel joke? Do you remember waking up in the morning and dreading the day or going to bed at night and feeling that vague sense of emptiness because nothing ever seemed to satisfy as much as advertised? I do. I remember feeling so lost and alone that it hurt.

I remember tossing and turning in my bed with nightmares of losing control because I simply had nothing to hang on to. I remember coming home from the parties and feeling disappointed because yet another set of promises failed to materialize. As the Bob Seger song says, I was “young, restless and bored,” and as the scripture says, I was “separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12, NIV). Do you remember?

I hope so. I hope you never forget. The apostle Peter makes the argument that if a disciple is not growing spiritually it is because he is “nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed of his past sins” (2 Peter 1:9, NIV). We can never forget our past. We must always remember what it was like to be lost so that we can praise and thank God, live in gratitude to him, and have a heart that reaches to save one more. One at a time The story is told of an old man who was watching a young boy on a beach picking up starfish, one at a time, and throwing them back into the sea. An unusually high tide had washed thousands of them up onto the shore that morning, and now they were stranded on the beach, doomed to die under the dry heat of a midday sun. So, the boy, taking pity on the starfish, was carefully picking them up, one by one, and tossing them back into the ocean so they could live. The old man shook his head and scoffed in contempt at the boy’s futile efforts to change an obviously hopeless situation. Finally, he walked over to the boy and knowingly posed his loaded question, “Son, do you really think you can make a difference by yourself out here with more starfish than you could possibly save on this beach?” The boy looked at the old man with a wisdom that comes not from age but from innocence, as he bent down and took hold of another starfish, wound up like a baseball pitcher and threw it as far as he could in the direction of the ocean. It landed with a slight splash and quickly sank to the bottom of the sea, disappearing from their sight. Then the boy turned to the old man and simply said:

“It made a difference to that one.” Aren’t you glad someone made a difference in your life? Let’s go save one more.

(Excerpts taken from “Dare to Dream Again”, by Jeff Chacon, 2004, IPI Publishing;

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