We have a very special lady with us. Lucie Winborne is a great writer and editor. Lucie helps edit for our team at Ask God Today and she is such a blessing to all of us. She writes today sharing a story about trying to matter, making a difference. Don’t we all wonder sometimes if what we are doing is making a difference in the lives of others? Remember hearing the story of the man and the starfish? Great story. If you aren’t familiar with it check it out below.
Lucie I just want to say thank you for all you do! You greatly matter to us!
So here is Lucie . . .
Just Trying to Matter
By Lucie M. Winborne
“I’m just trying to matter.” – Typical response of June Carter Cash when asked how she was doing
I’ll tell you something. A number of times in my life, I’ve felt like I really didn’t matter. Never mind that the God whose earthly birth we celebrate this time of year said I was created for a purpose. If so, it seemed clear I wasn’t fulfilling it. Or worse, could it be that I was? That this humdrum, seemingly useless life was “it”?
I didn’t care much for that idea, either.
Face it: We live in a world where it seems only the “big things” matter. Be radical for God! Set scary goals! Do hard things!
Can you relate?
At one of my day jobs, “I wish I mattered” thoughts were a close companion. Cleaning out the supply room . . . entering old invoices into a database . . . hole punching documents and ordering lunches . . . giving directions to people who couldn’t be bothered to read signs . . .
Is this all I’m good for?
Then came another season of unemployment, and while I enjoyed my new leisure, eventually the old thoughts came creeping in.
Sure, you’re helping an elderly parent . . . but picking up prescriptions and groceries, mailing packages and cleaning the kitchen, cooking and taking out trash aren’t a big deal . . . People do that stuff every day in addition to working.
So many were accomplishing so much more. Why wasn’t I?
Did I ever really matter?
* * *
At long last I whispered the overdue “employment prayer.” Please, God, don’t send me somewhere I’ll be miserable. The answer was subtle but unmistakable.
Ask to be sent where you’re needed. Problem was, by that point I wasn’t sure who would need me.
I perused volunteer opportunities but found only what I’d done years before during a similar season, and didn’t want to do again. Whispered the employment prayer a second and third time, with a slight amendment: Send me to whoever needs me.
It may have felt at times like an almost impossible request, but hadn’t God said He had plans for me?
* * *
One night I was about to close my computer when, on a seeming whim, I checked the volunteer match website one more time. Perhaps something had finally come up.
It had. No, it didn’t look like much at first: proofreading, envelope stuffing . . . But then, writing. And thanks. Appreciation for the simplest things, in comments like: You rock. Where have you been all my life? You nailed it, woman!
Not everyone understood. Why didn’t they just “bring in high schoolers” for certain jobs? It wasn’t worth my time and gas. I needed to be looking for a “real” job.
I didn’t bother to reply that I finally felt like I mattered.
And when the old voices crept in, as if on cue someone would say they were grateful for me. Learning a lot from me. That I had “saved their sanity.”
I’ll tell you something. Everything matters, even the seemingly mundane, perhaps especially at this time of year. The Christmas dinner I help cook may be rapidly consumed, but will provide nourishment to other bodies for their own God-appointed work. The packages I mail will not just bring pleasure to those who receive them, but save someone else the discomfort of long lines because I stood in them with my younger, healthier limbs. The hours of envelope stuffing will bring holiday catalogs to households where checks will be written for someone far away, someone with almost nothing.
Someone who may feel they don’t matter.
* * *
Have you heard this story?
The Starfish Story
Original Story is by: Loren Eisley
A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Farther along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.
“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asks.
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them farther in they will die.”
“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”
At Christmas and beyond, there are starfish all around us, waiting for us to matter. How will you?
Don’t forget to show Lucie how much she matters in the comments today.
Bio: “Lucie Winborne is a blogger, proofreader/editor, occasional poet, procrastinating novelist, and freelance writer for ReMIND magazine. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Eckerd College and her work has appeared in poetry journals, the Orlando Sentinel, One Million Stories, and Chick Ink: 40 Stories of Women and Their Tattoos. Her first poetry chapbook, The Soundness of Broken Pieces, was published by Middle Island Press in 2013. She blogs at Postcards From My Head and for the humanitarian aid nonprofit Global Hope Network International.”
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