Sermon Illustrations

Two Old Saw Bucks on a Hill! (06.27.05--Direction--John 21:4-6 )

How often we see things dimly in the morning light only to confront something altogether different than what we thought we saw in the first place. Not long ago I was awakened early, much earlier than I normally venture out in the morning. As it was June and the days begin and end less thriftily than any other time of the year, the sun was already promising day even though the clock on my bedside table was not at all convinced. I put on my walking clothes and shoes and ventured out despite the fact that my time was yet a hour or so away. My day was destined to begin before I had planned and the best would have to be made of it.

The night mists were still on the fields above the valley and the Barred Owl in the twin oaks beyond had not yet tucked head under wing for the day. As I approached his perch he eyed me warily, almost as if to ask “why” the walker was so early on this particular day. In a moment I was past and he was back to contemplating the day’s sleep ahead. As I approached the Rock Creek which marked my usual halfway point and turnaround home, I spied what appeared to be two figures walking on the ridge beyond the creek. I stopped and turned, peering into the climbing mists, I was almost certain that they were moving. Yet, as my eyes strained to focus on them I could not tell whether they really moved or not. The more I strained to see, the less I knew of what I saw. Needless to say, the second half of my walk was a bit more brisk than the first.

The following morning, when walking at my usual time, as I approached that same creek and ridge, I chanced to look up and scan that same horizon that had seemed so threatening just a day earlier. I spied no one but I did chance to Mrs. Foerster’s windsock waving in the distance as well as two old saw bucks stacked neatly in her neighbor’s year just a few yards beyond. The mists were gone and my eyes were opened to what really rested beyond my immediate gaze. I laughed to myself as I turned homeward. But for the hour and the mists I might have know the truth and been comforted.

It’s easy to lose direction in life when what we see as dire is merely an illusion created by our own inability to see the problem for what it really is. In the light of a new day, when the mists of night have completely fled and that old owl in the twin oaks is still, things usually look and seem a whole lot clearer to me. The fact is that all it takes is a little ray of sunshine to bring things into perspective. The fact also is that most of the bad things in life, when exposed to a little bit of Gospel light, have a tendency to turn out the same way also––merely two old saw bucks masquerading on a hill and nothing more.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)

Comforting Thoughts for the Passing Day!

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