I recently watched my son trying to teach his son how to skip rocks across the surface of the water. At 2 years old (almost 3) his best efforts resulted in a plop followed by widening ripples. As much as he enjoyed watching his dad skip rocks across the surface like magic, he was content with the impact that his stone tossing had on the water’s surface.
We don’t all have to be rock skipper experts who put on a good show and make a little magic for others to see. Sometimes being a pebble plunker is enough. Even though we can’t see the far reaching results of our efforts, what we set in motion by our actions are like the ripples that continue outward from a simple stone toss in a pond.
Are you kind to others? You may feel like your efforts are in vain, but somewhere down the road, the recipient of your kindness may remember and show kindness to someone you will never know anything about.
Do you give money to missions? You may never travel to another country or set foot on foreign soil, but the pennies and dollars you donate to support someone else’s work may save someone’s life, or better yet – their soul. It might put food in a hungry child’s belly or eyeglasses on an elderly person who can’t see well. If might send a child to school or supply shoes for someone’s feet, or medicine for a sick baby. You will probably never see the far reaching ripples of money invested in the mission field.
Do you take garden produce to elderly neighbors who no longer are able to grow their own fresh vegetables? Someday when age creeps up on you, there may be a younger person who remembers how you brought fresh produce to their parents or grandparents and in return, they may remember you with their own bounty.
Nothing goes out from us without impact. Money, words, actions, decisions, kindnesses, encouragement, advice, work… every single thing we do is like tossing one pebble at a time into a pond.
My grandson was fascinated by the way the circles went out from his little splash, growing larger and larger as they went, and how the circles intersected if he continued throwing one pebble at a time, or a bunch of pebbles at once. Our lives are like those ripples intersecting with the lives of others. We may never know our impact. We may never see the intersections of our lives with others, but they are there.
It might be a good idea to consider what things we are tossing out from ourselves into the universe. Are we giving our personal best? Are we tossing our garbage into the pond of our lives? Are we aware of how our words and deeds impact others? It is usually those closest to us who are impacted most.
Let us choose our stones carefully before we toss them into life’s pond. We may not be able to control the path of the ripples or who they will touch, but we do get to choose the pebbles we release.