Sermon Illustrations

Root Beer Thirst --- ---

As a kid in High School, I loved to go to amusement parks, and so did my friends. We only had a couple of amusement parks in the SF Bay Area and my high school buddies and I were able to convince our parents to drop us off at one of these amusement parks that was like a six flags park about four times a summer.

So this one particular summer day, me and four of my friends were dropped off at 11:00 am and were to be picked up by the parent at about 10:00 pm. A whole day at the amusement park, this was going to be great!

Admission gave us access to all the parks attractions, but we needed extra money for lunch and dinner. We all had a few dollars extra for food and drink...but, being 15 year olds, the reality of budgeting had not yet been realized in our financial minds.

So, after a few games of shuttle ball, games where we tried to win stuffed animals, trying to trick the guy who guesses your weight and age, and playing various video games, we were all out of money - it was 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon. We only had 9 hours until a parent picked us up.

At first, it was no big deal. We just started to ride the roller coasters and those rides that spin you around until you’re just shy of losing your stomach. But, you know, all that screaming, spinning and g force makes a kid thirsty, especially on a summer day.

Finally, we were all desperately thirsty, so we checked the park diagram and made our way to the free public drinking fountain. It was out of order. We made our way to the one other free public drinking fountain on the other side of the park, and amazingly, it was out of order as well.

So we came up with a plan, we would just grab a few coins out of the ponds and fountains that were here and there throughout the park and gather enough money to buy a drink. That plan didn’t go so well. Security caught us standing in a fountain and threatened to throw us out of the park.

We resorted to looking for coins dropped on the ground.

Amazingly, by the grace and mercy of God, my friend Bill found a crisp one dollar bill. We all rejoiced. One dollar was not enough to buy a coke at the amusement park, you know how they hike up the price of food and drinks like a movie theater, however there was this root beer attraction in the park, and this was the answer to our thirst.

The amusement park had this section that was made to look like San Francisco during the gold rush days. There they had this saloon where guests would come in, 25 at a time, and sit down at the long wooden bar. Once seated the bar tender would slide each customer a frosty mug of root beer and at the sound of a bell, everyone would chug down the root beer in a frenzied root beer drinking race.

Each root beer was only 10 cents. For a dime we could each get at two frosty mugs of root beer. They were small root beers, about the size of a sippy cup, but, it was a drink.

Bill decided that he should go first, since he found the dollar. Then he would come out with the change and we all would get our turn chugging frosty root beer mugs. So we waited outside….and we waited, and we waited. We couldn’t imagine what was taking Bill so long. What was taking Bill so long was Bill was drinking all our root beer. The guy drank ten root beers in a row and then had the nerve to tell us that it was his dollar so he could do with it what he wanted.

So we ditched Bill for the rest of the day.

A thirst must be satisfied. There’s no question about it.

When we thirst, we seek satisfaction. Thirst is not simply a desire, a want or “that would be nice.” Thirst is a core part of our being, and must be addressed. A thirst must be satisfied.

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