The Parable of the Lost Starfish
There was once a starfish who lived by herself on the shore, and before long she couldn't remember ever having been elsewhere. This was her home - this was the world she knew. But something was never quite right for the starfish. She felt empty, unfulfilled, out of place, and it filled her with a deep sadness. She watched as birds flew blissfully around the shoreline and the trees swayed to and fro in the gentle breeze. Why were they so happy? Why couldn't she be more like them? One day, the starfish began to hear the surging voice of the nearby ocean more clearly, more steadily than ever before. Soon she could swear that she heard it speak to her, saying, "Come home! Come home!" "Come home?" she thought. "What could that possibly mean? I am home, aren't I? This shore is my home - there's no other place for me." "No it isn't," the Sea replied. "You were never meant to stay out there." "But I can't go into the sea! It's big and terrifying and mysterious!" said the starfish. "That might be what things look like from out there, where your life is so small and so rigid," replied the Sea, "but in my midst you will find unending joy, adventure, and family like you cannot imagine. You are alone out there, aren't you?" Saddened, the starfish admitted her loneliness. But, still fearful of such an unimaginable change, she said, "I'm too afraid! If you really are where I belong, why don't you just grab hold of me and draw me in?" "Because," said the Sea, "I made you to be free, to choose your destiny. I offer you everything you could ever want out here, away from the rigid land. But you have to desire to come along. Will you come home now, my precious one?" The starfish, still fearful but filled with a new strength and trust in the loving Sea, stretched and strained with all her might toward the vast frontier. As soon as she did, the waves met and embraced her completely, carrying her joyfully into the depths of the home in which she was always meant to dwell.