Sermon Illustrations

It was late and I was tired. I checked into a hotel in Waco, Texas. I hurriedly went to my room and went to sleep. The next morning I felt wonderful. The morning was bright and sunny. I laced up my shoes, waved goodbye to the desk clerk, and took off through the neighborhood. The run back to the hotel seemed long. Upon entering the lobby, I noticed a breakfast buffet. One of those free ones where you toast your own toast and heat your own oatmeal. Fine by me, I thought, wondering why I hadn’t noticed the food when I left. I filled a tray, ate the meal, and was going back for seconds when I heard a couple of Brazilians speaking. For 5 years Brazil was home to our family. I couldn’t resist a good conversation. We talked about the country, the economy. I shared the only Portuguese joke I remembered. They invited me to take a seat. “Let me refill my coffee cup first,” I replied. I returned and took a seat, not just with coffee, but more toast. As I left to clean up, I passed the food bar again and, believe it or not, was still hungry. No harm, I reasoned. So I filled a bowl with oatmeal and decided to eat it in my room. I walked straight through the lobby, turned right at the first hallway, past the indoor pool (I didn’t remember that from last night), and came to the first door on the right. But something was wrong. My key card wouldn’t open the door. Tried a second time. No luck. I looked up at the room number. Wait a minute, this isn’t my room! I retraced my steps. Back down the hall. Past the pool. Back into the lobby. Past the breakfast bar. Smile at the manager. Out the front door. Into the parking lot. I looked up at the sign over the entrance. This isn’t my hotel! Where is my hotel? I looked to the right. Then to the left. There it was! next door! Well, what do you know? I’d jogged past my place and into this one! How ridiculous! I took my oatmeal (after all they wouldn’t want it back) and walked across the lot and to my room. I’d spent an hour in the wrong hotel. Visiting in the lobby. Chatting with the guests. Eating the food. Drinking the coffee. And you know what? I felt as though I was in the right place. Had you asked me what I was doing eating a free meal in the wrong hotel, I would have said that you were crazy. Not once did I lift my head and think, “This place feels funny.” It didn’t. It felt fine. But my feelings were wrong. No matter how much I felt as though I was in the right place, I was not. And no mountain of feelings could change that.

Many people make the same mistake. No, not with a hotel but with love. Many people base their decisions about relationships on feelings instead of the facts? When it comes to love, feelings rule the day. But should they? Can feelings be trusted?

From Max Lucado’s Book "A Love Worth Giving"