There was once a boy who wanted to make a difference. He worked hard at this, but was often left frustrated by how little change he saw. On one particularly frustrating day, he took a scrap of paper, wrote on it TRUST IN JESUS, rolled it up and put it in an empty glass bottle. Then he took that bottle down to the beach and threw it into the sea as hard as he could. It didn’t really make him feel any better, but at least, he thought, he was doing something.
The bottle bobbed by the shore for a while, before it was carried out into the big, wide ocean. It drifted for many days and nights, around shoals of fish, reefs, deserted islands and one very surprised shark whose life may have taken a radically new direction if he had learned to read. Eventually the bottle washed ashore on a beach in a different place in a different country.
That evening, a man was walking in the surf, bare-foot and reflective. He was meditating on the meaning of life just as the bottle bumped against the side of his foot. He bent down, picked it up and opened it. He pulled out the note and read it: TRUST IN JESUS. Because the man had been thinking, and had already taken his shoes off, he was changed.
Meanwhile, in a different place in a different country, the boy was still pacing up and down, frustrated because he wasn’t making a difference.