What You Do Matters

As we eagerly await the opening of Rhode Island beaches, I was reminded of this pre-pandemic lockdown beach story.

A young girl was walking along the beach dismayed at the great number of starfish that had washed up on shore. She was concerned that as the sun rose in the sky the starfish would die, so she began tossing them back into the water as she walked along. A crusty old fisherman saw what she was doing and, pointing to the great number of starfish on the beach, said dismissively, “You can’t save them all. What you’re doing doesn’t matter!

The girl thought for a moment, then picking up a starfish and tossing it into the water, she looked at the fisherman and said, “It matters to this one!”

Now consider this verse from Psalm 11:3: “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” King David, who wrote this Psalm, is not actually posing this question as one to which he doesn’t know the answer. He’s posing it for our benefit because he knows it is a natural question for us to ask when everything seems to be crumbling around us; when good seems like it will be overcome by evil.

David starts the Psalm with the declaration: “In the Lord I take refuge” and follows that with a challenge to the gloom peddlers who are telling him the righteous are insignificant in a world steeped in sin. David writes: “How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:1b-3).

David knows that God, like the girl helping the starfish, will help those who trust in Him. He knows God is watching: “He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.” (Psalm 11:4b) and, he knows that God, in His perfect timing, will judge the wicked and reward those who follow him faithfully. “For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. (Psalm 11:7).

Remember, in a world corrupted by evil what you do matters, so trust in the Lord and do good. As it says in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church