Summary: Paul had a secret for not losing heart.
INTRO.- ILL.- The New York City Transit Company was missing a bus and a driver some years ago. For over a week, authorities searched for the man but couldn’t find him. Finally, ten days later after the man had disappeared, he was found, bus included. IN MIAMI, FLORIDA!
The driver said, "I’d had it with the cold weather, the passengers, and my family! One day after I got off work, I thought, ‘I WONDER WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I JUST TOOK OFF FROM DRIVING!’"
So, that’s what he did! He took off for Florida where he enjoyed the sun and surf for over a week, ALL BY HIMSELF!
HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE THAT? Haven’t we all felt like that bus driver at times? We get so frustrated and/or aggravated about life that we either want to pull our hair out or run away!
Maybe your marriage hasn’t gone the way you thought it would. It’s never like you dreamed it would be. But perhaps yours has really been poor at best. You’d tried so many different things to add some spark to your marriage, but nothing seemed to work. So you may have thought, "I wonder what would happen if I just took off for a few days and told no one where I was going?"
ILL.- That’s like the husband who said, "Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight dinner, soft music and a slow walk home. SHE GOES TUESDAYS AND I GO FRIDAYS."
Or maybe it’s your parenting that is getting you down. KIDS DO GET PARENTS DOWN!
ILL.- One mother said, "These children are nuts today. I have a child myself. He is 12 years old. He is going to be 13...IF I LET HIM!"
Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of to discipline your child and nothing seems to work.
ILL.- It’s like that old story about the mother who had two boys and one of them cussed a lot. They came to the breakfast table one morning and the mother said to her one boy, "Son, what you would like for breakfast?" He said, "I want some of those blankety-blank post toasties!" His mother just hauled off and backhanded him and knocked him in the floor.
She turned to her other boy and said, "And son, what would you like for breakfast?" He said, "I don’t know, but I sure don’t want any of those post toasties!"
Sometimes children can really get us parents down. And they don’t have to be little to get us down, do they? There are times when you just want to throw up your hands, or else smack ‘em and whack ‘em! Some parents think, "I might as well just let ‘em run wild. There’s nothing I can do to carouse them!"
Or maybe it’s your job that’s getting you down.
ILL.- A father came home from work one day, very exhausted and frustrated. He wanted to get some rest, but little Johnny kept pestering him and asking him questions, "Daddy, daddy, what do you do all day at work?" "Nothing!" shouted his father. After a long pause, little Johnny asked, "Well, daddy, how do you know when you’re through?!"
HAVE YOU EVER COME HOME FRUSTRATED AND EXHAUSTED OVER THINGS THAT HAPPENED AT WORK? Of course, you have! Who hasn’t? There no is such thing as a pain-free job! Every job or occupation has its drawbacks.
Brothers and sisters, life is full of pain and disappointment! We think things are going to be thus and so, and find out they are not what we expected at all! Bills pile up, health fails, marriages crumble, people hurt you or disappoint you, your zip has been zapped, people are out to get you, criticize you, your job turns out to be a bummer, as do some people, etc.
And who knows? Perhaps there have been times when you have even thought about quitting the Christian life. You started out with high hopes of a better life, a happier life, a richer life and found it to be a lot tougher than you expected.
You may have thought all your problems would go away and they didn’t! Temptations were stronger than you expected. People were not always as helpful or as nice as you thought they would be. And you began to think after a period of time, "What’s the use in coming to church? Why not just drop out and do what everybody else in the world is doing?"
ILL.- The worst defeat in a college football game came on October 7, 1916, when Georgia Tech played Cumberland college of Kentucky and beat them 222 to 0! Wow! It’s on record! It’s a fact! It was said that Cumberland never made a first down. The much smaller Cumberland players were mauled. Halfway through the first half one of the Cumberland backs fumbled the ball.