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Sermon Illustrations: Diligence

Remember Me? I'm the fellow who goes into a restaurant, sits down patiently and waits while the waitresses do everything but take my order. I'm the fellow who goes into a department store and stands quietly while the sales clerks finish their little chit-chat. I'm the man who drives into a petrol station and never blows his horn, but waits patiently while the attendant finishes reading his comic book. Yes, you might say I'm a good guy, but do you know who else I am? I'm the fellow who never comes back, and it amuses me to see you spending thousands of dollars every year to get me back when I was there in the first place and all you had to do was to show me a little courtesy.


I taught my children how to play the piano when they were young. At one point, I went to great lengths to explain to them how important practising the piano was if they wanted to play really well. Thinking that I'd introduce a new illustration they might understand more readily, I settled on Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Have you heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger?" I asked. "Yes," they both replied. "He's very famous, isn't he?" I continued. "Yes," they answered again. "Because he's an actor, isn't he?" "Yes," for the third time. "Do you know what else he's famous for?" I asked, seeing my strategy unfolding with military precision. "No." "Because he's very, very strong. His muscles are huge, and he's won competitions because of them. Do you know how big his muscles are?" "No." "His arms are bigger than my legs." (No big deal!) "Wow!" Having in mind the hours Arnie spent each day in pumping iron, I moved in with the crucial question. "And how do you think he got to be so big and muscly?" A moment's silence. Then my son asked, "By playing the piano?"


Work tirelessly and never give up. John Wesley


The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Bach, Beethoven, Wagner and Mozart settled down day after day to the job with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day in his figures. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration. Ernest Newman