Sermon Illustrations

Mr. President? (07.13.05--Tomorrow--Mark 13:33-34)

We spend so much time preparing for some things. Whether it’s a birthday, a wedding, a family reunion or simply an evening dinner with the family, if there’s people involved, there’s always a goodly amount of preparation that precedes the event.

When faced with a future event, we will usually put our backs into it and give it all the attention that we can. Since our reputation as entertainer, host or simply a good chef is on the line, being prepared is usually on the top of the list. Would it not seem logical then, when faced with what might be called the last, great “event” of our lives, we ought to feel as or even more inclined to put forth our best efforts?

Billy Graham would often tell this story about the need to be prepared for that unexpected “meeting” with our Maker. It was about a little boy named Paul Haley. The little six-year-old Denver boy was dying from cancer. His story had hit the newspapers along with his fondest wish. The little boy wanted to meet the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. One day, quite unexpectedly, Eisenhower announced to his aides that he was going to see Paul Haley. Hopping in the presidential limousine, they drove to Denver and pulled up outside of the Haley home, flags flying from the limo’s fenders. Eisenhower simply strode up the little walk leading to the Haley front door and rang the doorbell. Donald Haley, the little boy’s father, answered the door. When faced with the neatly-dressed stranger he simply asked, “Can I help you?” Suddenly, a little boy appeared between his father’s legs, peering up at the stranger’s face. “Yes, I’m Dwight Eisenhower and I’d like to meet your son.” The little boy scampered out to the limo and the president showed him the car and allowed him to sit in it. They parted with a handshake and a hug. All the while Donald Haley stood in the doorway awestruck. His neighbors are still talking about it to this day. (Adapted, Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes)

Donald Haley often talked about how unprepared...

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