John Vander Velden Interview


Just A Ripple By John W. Vander Velden

There are times when I consider the where I belong.  Oh, I know geographically the real estate, the bit of earth that I find myself – the place I consider home.  It is good to have that knowledge of something solid, something true.  But that constant is not what I mean. 

Perhaps I should approach it in another way. 

On some early morning, stand at the edge of a pond, large or small.  Look carefully over the water when it is smoother than glass.  Then select a small pebble — the smaller the better.  Now stretching your arm forward, allow that stone to fall into the water.  Watch as it breaks the surface.  Allow your eyes to follow the rings moving outward. 

I would contend that you have changed that pond.  You have changed the pond with those ripples that race outward and, though may go unnoticed, reach the far side. That change will soon disappear.  But you have changed the pond in ways permanent – ways you do not see – ways you cannot know. 

For that bit of rock settles upon the bottom, a new feature.  Animals, perhaps microscopic, must move by a different path because that stone now lies, a barrier, in their route.  Other plants and creatures may with time use it as a foundation for new growth. 

Who can know all the changes that just one small pebble causes – changes greater than just a ripple?

There was a day – to me it seems very long ago – when I was just a pebble dropped into this pond.  And my birth may have been just a ripple.  To some those ringlets were large as ocean waves, but to most of those that shared the world with me, the new arrival, the wavelets went unnoticed.  But just as that pebble changed the pond, my entrance changed the world.  However there is an important difference.  You see the pebble has no control — none what so ever.  I, on the other hand, have abilities, gifts – can make choices.  Through those choices, I affect those around me.  How I use the gifts I have been given, changes this pond we share. 

So I look about the world I share with you and so many others.  A world I share with those I know.  A world I share with so many I have yet to meet.  A world I share with those I will never have the opportunity to see, some near others much distant.  I wonder where I belong, and more, what can I do so that God makes me more — than just a ripple.

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