People are burning police cars, burning police buildings, throwing just about anything they can at police; they burn neighborhood stores, deface them, loot them, in the name of “social justice”.
For 32 plus years, I have worked as a police officer, and for 32 years, I have felt like I make a difference every day.
I think back to a sermon, from when I was a young man, that revolved around doing your part in life to make a difference, and I had an opportunity a couple of years back to relay a part of the sentiment to a graduating class at the East Texas Police Academy. I addressed the family and supporters of the graduating class, and specifically spoke directly to the soon to be officers with just a short section of that sermon; telling them them that although their future in police work would often be thankless, they would make a difference.
Pastor Tim Diebel told his congregation in Athens, Texas, some 35 or more years ago that everything a person does to further what is right, was important, and although it might not be recognized by many, it would surely matter.
Pastor Diebel went on to speak of a small boy who was walking along a beach, a beach that had hundreds of starfish lying on the sands, doomed to soon dry out and perish.
Pastor Diebel told us that as the boy would walk, and find a starfish, he would pick that small, helpless animal up, and return it to the ocean, saving it.
A man walking along the beach saw the boy, and imparted the wisdom of an older person to the youngster. “You know that you are waisting your time don’t you ?”
The youngster just smiled, and walked towards the next starfish, a bit down the beach.
Not wanting his words to be wasted, the man followed at a distance and caught up to the boy as he took another starfish into the water, and returned for the next one. “You’re wasting your time young man, there are hundreds of those things lined up, as far as you can see – you’re just one little boy, and you can’t make a difference, you know?”
The boy smiled again, this time walking towards the water with yet another starfish, laid it in the water, and resumed his mission. “You heard me didn’t you?” the man asked. Finally the youngster replied “it mattered to him” as he pointed into the ocean where he had just set down the latest starfish.
The man chuckled, and nodded his head in agreement, the boy smiled, again, and they both went about their business.
Officers, day in and day out, practice the task of helping those they touch, often unsung, and unappreciated, except by those who they help.
There isn’t much newsworthy about helping people, day in and day out, as countless officers do every day, of every month, year following the year before; but they make a difference.
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters in blue, you do make a difference, not unlike that young man on the beach.
Keep up the good work, and you will never be ignored by the ones you help, and your reward awaits you.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9