Sermon Illustrations

A Parking Spot in Heaven! (06.16.05--The Tie That Binds--Psalm 51:12 )

What motivates you? Why do you go to work every day? What causes you to get out of a warm bed where you may have been dreaming contentedly and plant those feet down on the hard floor ready to launch into another day?

I am an early riser, usually getting out of bed anywhere between 4:50 and 5:00 AM most mornings. I know what motivates me on the 5:00 am mornings; it’s the clanging of the alarm clock on my bedside table. That’s pretty much all the motivation I need. Like Pavlov’s dogs, the sound of that incessant beeping can cut through even the deepest of sleeps and pierce even the most contented dreaming. But what about those mornings when I awake before the alarm; when I groggily peer over the mounded pillow, blinking at the digital time keeper and wondering “should I?” or “Shouldn’t I?”

“Should I?” usually wins out for me. Not because of some moral compulsion or notion of the early bird catching the worm. My motivation at 4:50 AM is purely utilitarian. I know that if I don’t get to the office prior to 7:50, I won’t get a parking space within two blocks of my office building. My mind works that way. Eyes open, mind begins to grind and a picture of parking lanes bounces into my bleary view. The feet automatically bolt to the floor and, I flip on the old bifocals and am ready to “rock and roll.” Motivated by convenience and the reward of that precious parking space, I find that I am easily motivated to expend the extra ten minutes of sleep each morning.

Motivation. It’s intriguing to see that what motivates some people will often do little to motivate others. For example, there’s the teenager who loses a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a fruitless search, he tells his mother the lens was nowhere to be found. Undaunted, she goes outside and in a few minutes returned with the lens in her hand. “I really looked hard for that, Mom,:” says the youth. “How’d you manage to find it?”

“It’s easy,” his mother replies. “We weren’t looking for the same thing. You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150.”(Source Unknown.)

Looking for happiness in life but find that it is always just an arm’s out-of-reach? Perhaps it isn’t a matter of the goal but of the seeking. If we seek...

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