Sermon Illustrations

THE PROBLEM OF LIVING FOR TIME

By the time it’s all over, Tom Brady’s will be the fourth face on the Mount Rushmore of New England sports, right up there with Larry Byrd, Bobby Orr and Ted Williams. He is what they were: single-minded, blessed with the ability to lift a team, a cutthroat competitor, feared when the biggest games are about to turn.

Yet there are differences. He has been embraceable, which the others never really were. He doesn’t have their revolutionary physical skills. And, unlike the other three, he emerged from virtually nowhere; Williams, Orr and Byrd were prepackaged stars when they got to town.

Perhaps for that reason, Tom Brady -- despite his success, despite his two Super Bowl MVP awards -- seems at times to stand outside his fame. He is an everyman, dropped into a whirlwind of celebrity that sometimes seems as unfathomable to him as it would be to any of us. Brady’s time is rarely his and his alone.

Tom Brady wonders if that’s all there is. The New England Patriots’ quarterback has won three Super Bowls before even turning 30, yet something is gnawing at him. "Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me?" he tells 60 Minutes in a show to be broadcast on CBS. "A lot of people would say, ’This is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream.’ It’s got to be more than this. I mean, this isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be."

The only real fulfillment in this world is that which affects the Kingdom of God. There are no accolades in this world, there are no promotions in this world to compare to winning a soul and praying a revival into a church.

(From a sermon by Philip Harrelson, "A Purpose In the Heart" 1/31/2009)

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