The famous Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky told the story of the time he was arrested by the czar and sentenced to die. The czar, though, liked to play cruel psychological tricks on the people who rebelled against him by blindfolding them and standing them in front of a firing squad. The blindfolded people would hear the gunshots go off, but would feel nothing. Then they would slowly realize that the guns were loaded with blanks.
Dostoevsky went through this experience himself. He said that going through the process of dying believing he was really going to die had a transforming effect on Dostoevsky. He talked about waking up that morning with full assurance that this would be his last day of life. He ate his last meal and savored every bite. Every breath of air he took was precious to him. Every face he saw, he studied with full intensity. Suddenly, every experienced was etched in his mind.
As they marched him into the courtyard, he felt the heat of the sun and appreciated its warmth like never before. Everything around him seemed to have a magical quality to it. He was seeing the world in a way he had never seen it before. He was fully alive!
When he realized that he had not been shot and that he was not going to die, everything about his life changed. He became thankful for everything about his life. He became grateful to people he had previously hated. It ...
Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Rich Young on Jan 18, 2001
One airline passenger told his companion shortly after take-off, "Time sure changes things. See that lake down there? When I was a boy, I used to go out on it in a rowboat & fish. Every time a plane flew over ...read more
Contributed by Dan Erickson on Nov 21, 2000
One of the most memorable books I have ever read is A Severe Mercy. This is the story of Sheldon Vanauken and his wife Davy, who happened to be friends of C. S. Lewis. This couple was deeply in love and they sought to build the ideal marriage. They would only read books that the other wanted to ...read more
Contributed by Mary Lewis on Feb 2, 2001
That great saint and missionary pioneer, Hudson Taylor said, "The real secret of an unsatisfied life lies too often in an unsurrendered will." ...read more
Contributed by Melvin Newland on Feb 14, 2001
ILL. Are you familiar with Bill Cosby’s book, "Time Flies"? In it, Cosby says that something happens to you when you turn 50 years old. When his father turned 50, Cosby says that for the first time he remembers noticing his father’s "love handles," those rolls of fat which develop ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Mar 29, 2001
I live in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. I remember back in the 1950s there was a short period of freak tides and currents around our coast that swept up great shoals of fish to the beaches. Before this phenomenon only relatively few people were interested in fishing but now it was so easy to ...read more