Sermon Illustrations

As you know, years ago when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had a business on the side cleaning Aquariums. I did ok, I was a young man struggling along with my business and one day I was at my aquarium wholesaler and I ran into a man who was in the same business, except he knew what he was doing. Well we hit it off and went out to lunch and he gave me all kinds of great advice about running an aquarium maintenance business. Of all the advice he gave me the most surprising was this: “The aquarium business is NOT about the fish”.

I said, “What are you talking about, the aquarium business is all about the fish, what else is there?”

So he asked, “When you go into a bar to clean their aquarium, doesn’t the bar tender take you aside and talk to you about what is going on in his life?”

“Yes, of course.”

“And when you go into a dentist’s office doesn’t the receptionist talk to you about her problems?”

“Well, Yes.”

“Every place you goto clean an aquarium, isn’t there someone who takes you aside and tells you about their problems and asks for your advice?”

“oh, yes they do…”

“That’s because, it is not about the fish. It is about sitting down and spending time with people. It is about spending five minutes cleaning the aquarium, and twenty five minutes listening to someone’s problems and talking about their suffering. It’s not about the fish. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you will be successful.