It’s not a phrase I had heard before, the great garbage patch, but it is a real area in the Pacific Ocean almost twice the size of Texas. It refers to the plastic pollution in one of many pockets of our oceans. I have mentioned plastic pollution before but I came across a story that is worth the telling.
A Dutch 16 year old went swimming in Greece and was shocked that he saw more plastic than fish. It appalled him. At the age of 18 he started his own company called The Ocean Cleanup.
If we think that as a single person we cannot make a contribution in the world then we need to look at this young man’s story.
Boyan Slat is a university drop out that few people took seriously but he had a vision. He did not give up on his dream of changing the oceans and now 6 years later this young man has some serious worldwide backing (including the Dutch government and investors) and his prototype is the first plastic collection system and it is heading out from San Francisco this month to test picking up plastic in the waters 1,200 miles off the coast of California labelled as the “Great Garbage Patch”.
The plastic pollution is held in this area by the circular currents of the ocean between California and Hawaii. Boyan created a floating barrier system 2,000 feet long that will float along with the currents and encircle the plastic and pull it into the middle of the barrier until a ship comes along and scoops the plastic out of the middle of the barricade.
Now we may not all invent an amazing system for cleaning up the environment but we all have dreams, we all have passions and we can all make a difference at something within our world if we refuse to give up. Most inventors have tried many projects that failed before they find a project that works, they did not give up, they simply found something that did not work and they went on to try another way or another idea. Trying and trying again are the traits of passionate people, strong people, people who do not give up without a fight.
I love the fact that this 23 year old is a “world shaper".
We all have garbage patch areas in our lives, areas we would rather not look at, areas we hope no one finds out about, it is stuff we go round and round and round in and cannot seem to break out of. We long for an invention that can float right into our lives and help us clean up the mess.
Jesus came to this earth to help clean up a really big garbage patch, namely "us". He is called the Saviour of the World. He can help us clean up the ick that lives inside of us, if we will let Him. Will we let Him or will we be content to go around and around and around caught in the familiar currents of our lives, thinking that our "mess" only affects us.
It was only 1 water bottle I threw away and did not recycle.
Reality is, our lives touch other lives, that 1 thrown away water bottle joins 1 million others floating in the sea creating a great garbage patch.
We may think that our garbage patch will not affect others, but we all have a sphere of influence in our families, in our homes, in our jobs, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our countries, in our world. Have you ever taken the time to think outside of your personal world and reflect on how many lives intersect yours on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly basis? How would people say your life is influencing them?
What can you yourself do to be a “world shaper” to have a positive affect on the world around you?
It’s a great question to ponder and work towards…..