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Sermon Illustrations: Purpose

At a church camp, the speaker was talking about how God has a purpose for everything in His creation. He explained that there were reasons for dirt, wind, trees, animals, even cockroaches. One of the children raised his hand to ask a question: "If everything God made has a purpose, why did He make poison ivy?" That really stumped the speaker, till one of the children made a suggestion: "God made poison ivy because He wanted us to know that there are some things we should keep our grubby little hands off."


In war, captors often try to mess with the minds of captives. One method is to give them a shovel, point to a huge pile of dirt, and tell them to move it to another point. Once that is done, they tell them to move it back. The idea is to remove their sense of purpose.


In greyhound racing, dogs are trained to chase a mechanical fur rabbit that goes along the track in front of them. The speed of the rabbit is controlled by a man in the press box who keeps the rabbit just in front of the dogs. One time in Florida, everyone was ready for the big race. The starting gun went off, the man in the press box pushed his lever, cages opened, and the dogs took off. But just as the rabbit went round the first bend, an electrical short caused it to stop, explode, and burst into flames. No longer having a rabbit to chase, the dogs had no idea what to do. Some of them laid down on the track, two ran into a wall and broke some ribs, one chased his tail, and some howled at the spectators. Not a single dog finished the race.


Pulling into the campsite, three children jumped from the camper van and frantically began unloading equipment and setting up the tent. Mother and daughter set up the stove, while the boys ran around gathering firewood. Watching on, a nearby camper remarked, "That is amazing. How did you train your family to work like a team?" The father responded, "Oh, that's easy. No one is allowed to go to the bathroom till everything is set up."