Sermon Illustrations

Rare Italian Automobile Good Only for Show

I heard this week about a very, very special automobile. It was built in the 1920’s by the Italian manufacturer Bugatti, and it was designed to be sold to the outrageously wealthy. This car was equipped with 450 horses under the hood; it was some 22 feet long and weighed about 6000 pounds. It was hand-crafted of the finest materials, it handled like a dream, and it cost something like $400,000 even in the 1920’s.

Naturally, it was not exactly everyman’s car, and only a few were made. The story I heard said that only six of them are known still to exist, and that the only one of them in the United States is owned by a retired general, who keeps it locked away in a secure garage, polished and shiny, pristine and proper, without spot or blemish of any kind. And here is what struck me about the story: this car is about 70 years old. It is a magnificent driving machine. It would take you virtually anywhere in complete comfort. But in 70 years it has been driven only 3200 miles. Only 3200 miles in three score and ten years of service.

This Bugatti is a museum piece. It’s something to see. But, then, that’s all that it is. It’s just something to see. It has all this power, all this potential, but nobody puts it to use. It has all this "get up and go", but no one is using it. It’s just good to look at, and that’s all.

You see, looking good is really no problem, no problem at all. There’s no problem with looking good, if that’s what you want Just stay out of trouble. Just keep out of harm’s way. Just don’t go where you shouldn’t go and don’t say what you shouldn’t say. Just hang on to that privacy thing, and you will look good. You will be unspotted and unblemished.

But will you go anywhere? Will you do anything? Will you make a difference for anybody? Somehow, I just think that God has more in mind for us than mere goodness. I believe that God wants to move us from goodness to going. From goodness to going.

From a sermon by Joseph Smith, Paul and Ananias: From Goodness to Going, 11/25/2009

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