Sermon Illustrations

Dr. Elmer Towns, in his book Praying The Lord’s Prayer for Spiritual Breakthrough, tells the story of a small son was playing with his french fries, dipping the end of one in the ketchup, and then waving it like a baton. His father was enjoying the moment. Mother had gone to a seminar, so for lunch the father took out his son and bought him a hamburger and french fries.

The young boy was more interested in playing with the french fries than eating them, though. “Eat your french fries...” the father coaxed. The son continued to wave his "french-fry baton," and the band played on. The father looked at his watch, but he did not have anywhere he had to be.

It was his habit to hurry about everything. After lunch, they were just going back home. Then almost by instinct, the father reached over and did something most fathers have done. He took one french fry out of his son’s package.

“No!” the son said sharply, and slapped the father’s hand. Then, raising his voice, he repeated, “No!” Apparently no one saw the little boy slap at his father’s hand. No one heard what the little boy said.

The stunned father sat surveying the situation, though saying nothing. Who does he think he is? he thought. He’s my son ...I bought these french fries, and I should be able to eat the fries that he won’t eat!

That was not the case, though. The little boy had already gone back to leading his make-believe band as though he had forgotten the situation. The father, however, had not forgotten what happened. He thought to himself, I could get mad and never buy him another french fry in his life.

The father was not mad at his son, though; he was more surprised than anything. He was not the type to get even. If anything, he was a mild kind of guy. He continued to think. I could bury him in french fries and smother him in ketchup, I love him so much.

The father sat in the plastic chair, watching his son dip another fry in ketchup, and lead the band. The little guy had no idea of the thoughts going through his father’s mind. We are like little children playing at life. Our heavenly Father reaches over to take one of our french fries – say in the form of wanting a couple of hours of worship on Sunday, or asking that we support His Church with our money.

Too often we slap God’s hand, telling Him, “No! Keep Your hand out of my life."

God does not want to take all our french fries from us. He wants just a taste. Like a selfish child, however, we say, “No!”

The question of the little boy and his father is a question about our heavenly Father and His children:

Who owns your french fries? When we are thankful to God we recognize that it is God who owns our french fries. A thankful heart makes room for God’s plan and makes way for God’s provision!