The Things That Matter

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As I sat in my pew on a February Sunday afternoon, I was witness to an insightful anecdote. The minister told a story about a small boy and his grandfather who, as they were strolling along a lonely stretch of ocean shoreline, found hundreds of stranded starfish left on the sandy beach to die. As the little boy encountered each one, he would gently pick it up and put it back into the rippling tide of the clear ocean water.


“Why are you taking the time to put them back?” his grandfather asked. “It can’t possibly matter. There are thousands of them.”


The little boy placed another struggling starfish back into the life-giving waters and looked up at his grandfather in surprise. “It matters to this one,” he replied.


And so it does. It does MATTER. And as I left the church I thought about the contributions each of us make and how often we consider them to e trivial and insignificant.


And so I want to take this opportunity to thank some of the people who really do matter—to all of us.


To the city workers who promptly dispose of my trash each week, thanks for helping out. To every school janitor, your contribution to education is invaluable. To the delivery person who drops a newspaper in my driveway each morning, thanks for sharing the world. To the hospital maintenance worker who keeps the engines running, there are those who owe you their lives. To each electrical lineman, you’re a beacon in the darkness.


To every farmer who is a steward of the soil, thanks for choosing to feed us. To every parent who’s ever sold oranges, cooked chili, or manned a dunking booth, you’ve made an investment in the future of society. To each factory worker, thanks for clothing us. To every carpenter, you’re the foundation of tomorrow. To every person who awakes each morning and greets each day willing and ready to make a contribution no matter the size or nature, thanks from all of us—because you matter—to each of us.



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