A little boy who lived far out in the country in the late 1800s
had reached the age of twelve and had never in all his life seen
a circus. You can imagine his excitement, when one day a poster
went up at school announcing that on the next Saturday a traveling
circus was coming to the nearby town.
He ran home with the glad news and the question, "Daddy, can
I go?" Although the family was poor, the father sensed how
important this was to the lad. "If you do your Saturday chores
ahead of time," he said, "I'll see to it that you have
the money to go."'
Come Saturday morning, the chores were done and the little boy
stood by the breakfast table, dressed in his Sunday best. His father
reached down into the pocket of his overalls and pulled out a dollar
bill-the most money the little boy had possessed at one time in
all his life. The father cautioned him to be careful and then sent
him on his way to town.
The boy was so excited, his feet hardly seemed to touch the ground
all the way. As he neared the outskirts of the village, he noticed
people lining the streets, and he worked his way through the crowd
until he could see what was happening. Lo and behold, it was the
approaching spectacle of a circus parade! The parade was the grandest
thing this lad had ever seen. Caged animals snarled as they passed,
bands beat their rhythms and sounded shining horns, midgets performed
acrobatics while flags and ribbons swirled overhead. Finally, after
everything had passed where he was standing, the traditional circus
clown, with floppy shoes, baggy pants, and a brightly painted face,
brought up the rear. As the clown passed by, the little boy reached
into his pocket and took out that precious dollar bill. Handing
the money to the clown, the boy turned around and went home. What
had happened? The boy thought he had seen the circus when he had
only seen the parade!
Are you experiencing all that God has for you? The Christian life
is a marvelous adventure, an exciting journey. Many people-including
Christians-seem to be content to float in a sea of mediocrity, settling
for second best. Do you want the abundant life that Jesus promised?
Do you want to live life to its fullest? Then aim higher. Don't
set your sights too low. Determine to become all that God created
you to be. Give yourself to Christ, follow Him completely, and allow
the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you. You ain't seen nothin'
Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks
Wayne Rice, Zonderzan, pp. 56-57.
The May 2002 issue of Fast Company tells the stories of five people
who worked for Enron, the company that in 2001 filed for the largest
bankruptcy in U.S. history.
One person profiled in that article was Phyllis Anzalone. She went
to work for the company in 1996 selling energy supply contracts.
Her personal earnings quickly went to six figures. She says, "As
devastating as it was, I'm glad I did it. It was like being on steroids
But when Enron went bankrupt, she lost roughly one million dollars.
She says, "The whole Enron debacle was probably the best thing
that ever happened to me. I was so emotionally attached to that
company, and it took so much life out of me."
Charles Fishman, "Bad Business,"
Fast Company (May, 2002) pp. 103-104, 106