“Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28–30
Every Sunday morning, an elderly lady could be found sitting beside a lake with a small cage next to her. One day, after passing by her many times, a curious man finally stopped. As he got closer, he noticed the cage was actually a small trap and inside three turtles were walking around. On the woman’s lap sat a fourth turtle that she softly scrubbed with a sponge.
He cleared his throat. “Might I ask you,” he began, “what you are doing?”
She smiled and went back to her task at hand as she answered, “I’m washing the algae and scum off the turtles’ backs.”
She smiled again, “Anything on their backs can limit their ability to absorb heat, and it can slow them down. Eventually, it could even corrode the shell.”
“That’s so nice of you. Do you do that every Sunday?”
She nodded. “I spend a couple of hours by this lake every Sunday. It’s just my way of making a difference.”
“But don’t most freshwater turtles live their whole lives without someone washing their backs?”
“I’m afraid most of them do,” she answered.
“If that’s the case,” than man continued, “don’t you think you can better use your time doing something else? I mean, it’s nice of you, but if 99% of turtles live without a kind person washing their shells, how are you making a difference?”
The woman chuckled as she looked back at the turtle in her lap. She gently scrubbed off the last piece of algae on his shell. “Something tells me if this little guy could talk, he’d tell me I just made all the difference in the world.”
Sometimes, when we try to make a difference, it can be daunting. Do our efforts even matter? What if we fail? Maybe remembering the story of the turtle lady can remind us to come out of our own shells and try to make a difference –a little at a time.
Watering the Seeds
What issue do you wish you could help with?
What is one step you could take today that might make a small difference in that situation?