Sermon Illustrations

John F. Kennedy Questioned by Coal Miner About His History of Work

In 1960, John Kennedy was running for the presidency, and was campaigning near a coal mine in West Virginia. One of the miners put a series of questions to Kennedy:

"Is it true that your father is one of the wealthiest men in the world?" Kennedy admitted that this was true.

"Well, then, is it also true that you’ve always had everything you’ve wanted?” Again Kennedy admitted that this was true.

The miner’s voice got louder, and his pitch got higher, "Then is it also true that you’ve never done a day’s work with your hands in your whole life?" Kennedy gulped a little, but blurted out, "Yes."

The coal miner drew himself up to his full height, took a deep breath, looked the would-be president straight in the eye, and spit it out, "Then let me tell you something. You haven’t missed a thing!"

Work. Work. For all of our fabled Washington workaholism, we are not all that excited about work. We want to work, and yet we don’t want to work. We want the paycheck and we hope for decent working conditions: but not everyone gets fulfillment out of his work. Not everyone finds her work compelling and life-shaping. Work is something about which we have mixed feelings. And for a lot of folks, if you haven’t been working, well, "you haven’t missed a thing."

From a sermon by Joseph Smith, Supercharged, 11/14/2009

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media