I love to watch a good movie. The difficult thing I find is finding one amongst all the rubbish that is out there. Now, one of my all time favourite movies for a whole host of reasons is Schindler’s List. It’s not an easy movies to watch and can be heart wrenching one minute and soul destroying the next, but I can help but love it. It’s a film that tells of and shows man’s inhumanity to man and yet at it’s heart is one man’s fight against the evil powers that be. I find parts of the film really difficult to watch but there is one part that gets me every time. The film is near it’s end and they have all been told that the war is now over. The Jews are starting to return to their homes and Oscar Schindler is about to leave one of his factories. Now that it is all over he is suddenly struck by what has been going on and it hits him that he could have done more, he could have saved more lives. He looks at his watch and says that this would have bought a few more lives. He falls to his knees overwhelmed by the fact that he could have done more. He doesn’t well up with pride that he saved so many he is overwhelmed with grief that, perhaps, he could have done more. The pain he is feeling at that point is almost overbearing.
You can almost guess what I’m going to go on to say!! We need to live our lives so that we don’t look back with regret. It is almost an impossible task I believe, because like Oscar Schindler there is always more that can be done. However, let that not be an excuse for us. There is always more to be done, but there is usually more that we could do. I’m not saying that we should run ourselves raged and die at 31 of a stress induced heart attack, but I am saying that there is a world dying out there. Both physically and spiritually the work is there to be done. Will we like Schindler put ourselves out to help save many and then still regret that we could have done more? Or will we sit back and wait for others to do it? Will we see the task as too big and therefore give up before we’ve even started or will we be faithful to the work God has called us to do in our little area of life and slowly make a difference?
I love the story of the boy and the starfish…
One day, an old man was walking along the beach in the early morning and noticed that the storm of last night had washed thousands of starfish up on the shore. Up ahead in the distance he spotted a boy who appeared to be gathering up the starfish, and one by one tossing them back into the ocean.
He approached the boy and asked him why he spent so much energy doing what seemed to be a waste of time.
The boy replied, "If these starfish are left out here like this they will bake in the sun, and by this afternoon they will all be dead."
The old man gazed out as far as he could see and responded, "But, there must be hundreds of miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can't possibly rescue all of them. What difference is throwing a few back going to make anyway?"
The boy then held up the starfish he had in his hand and replied, "It's sure going to make a huge difference to this one!"
There is so much good that each of us can do if we focus on individuals and the small things we can do rather than get swamped by the bigger picture. I am the worst of culprits. I’m with St Paul as I see the good I should do but I don’t do it. Let’s encourage each other to do our bit, however small, to change this world for the better.