“There was a young man walking on a beach where there were hundreds of starfish being washed up onto the shore. He noticed an older man picking them up one at a time and tossing them back into the ocean and said, “There are too many. You can’t make a difference.”
The older man replied as he threw another one into the ocean, “I made a difference to that one.”
She read her report to me while we stood in the kitchen.
I had to smile because I make everyone listen to what I write, too.
My high school daughter could choose any topic to research and write about to present to her English class and then the class grades you and can ask questions afterwards. Sounds perfectly awful, huh? It could be political, controversial, educational, inspirational–you name it.
She chose “Making a Difference in the World” and read books and articles and wrote a whole lot of pages on how to do it.
Y’all. I’ve been trying to make a difference in the world for a lot of years, but it’s not until your teenager chooses it as her topic that you realize these kids are my world and you feel like you might just be getting something right.
As I listened to her words, I was proud of the public stand she was taking in her public high school.
And I’m not gonna lie, I swallowed hard every day leading up to the presentation as she sat me down on the couch and told me what some of the other presentations were about. We talked through some of the topics like gay and lesbian lifestyle, agnostic faith, pro-abortion and transgenderism.
It broke my heart because it was an in your face reminder of our culture’s influence on kids. But it didn’t surprise me. We live in the world and all you to do is go to Target and half a dozen other places to get a big dose.
But it also filled me with hope as my daughter told me the questions she asked after the agnostic report that were filled with grace and truth and how she felt compassion for the girl who just wanted her voice to be heard on alternative sexual lifestyles.
And then it was her turn. She was a bundle of nerves that morning and I was tempted to not let her drive to school. I could literally sense the pressure she felt.
My daughter burst through the door after school and said, “Mom, it was amazing. I spoke with passion. I wasn’t nervous at all. Every kid was listening closely and then I challenged them. The whole class loved it. My teacher was so inspired she asked the whole class to do something this week to make a difference in someone else’s life.”
She was glowing.
I hugged her neck and whispered, “I’m proud of you.”
My kids are probably a lot like yours-normal. I am, too. Because you see, I want to protect them and keep their struggles, sin and weakness private and I want to shout and share their victories with anyone who will listen. It’s the same reason our social media feeds are filled with cute pictures and great stories instead of all the gritty, hard stuff we face in a week.
So, yeah, this is just another My Kid Is Awesome Post, but know that we celebrate the good because we have lived the hard. We are hanging on and we are making a difference in our world (also known as the lives of our kids).
Can we really make a difference in the world?
Can we really be a light in the darkness?
Can our kids stand up for what is right in a world that seems celebrate the wrong?
I know that it’s hard to live upstream in a fast-moving and constantly truth-changing culture. It’s even harder for our kids. Maybe you’re wondering if one person swimming upstream can really stand and make a difference?
Just ask one English class in the heart of Texas.