Sermon Illustration: Nissan Pathfinder
Recently, my 2001 Honda Accord kicked the bucket. A couple of failed emission tests and a need to purchase a catalytic converter forced me to trade it in. Sad day.
One, because I loved that car.
Two, because I loved the monthly payments (Read: I didn’t have any).
My wife and I traded in the Accord for a Nissan Pathfinder. So far, we love it. Not the monthly payment, mind you. . . the vehicle itself.
Since owning the car, I have noticed something. Actually, I have noticed A LOT of somethings. Nissan Pathfinders are everywhere! When I drive down the interstate, I see Pathfinders. When I park in a parking lot and walk into a store, Pathfinders. At red lights, stop signs, and the soccer fields -Pathfinders. Prior to purchasing our Pathfinder, I didn’t notice any. After I started to drive one, however, I found they turn up everywhere.
What happened? Did people hear that Matt and Katie Pearson purchased a Nissan Pathfinder and immediately make a mad dash to get one so they too could be like us?
I doubt it.
Okay, probably not.
So what happened? What happened is that they had always been there, I just never noticed them. I never noticed them until I had one. I never noticed them until my mind became aware. I became in tune to them when my mind shifted.
Becoming mindful of the lost and searching is like that. Talking to Jesus about your friends before talking to your friends about Jesus is like that. Living on mission with Jesus is like that. When you begin to pray for Gospel opportunities; when you begin to pray for God to help you identify people who are welcoming you into their lives; when you begin to pray for people to have Gospel conversations with you will notice.
Notice people you had never seen before.
Notice opportunities you had never paid attention to.
Notice conversations that lend themselves to grace, a seasoning with salt.
Praying for opportunities to speak about what Jesus is doing in your life is a lot like buying a new car. You will notice opportunities you had never seen before. They were there all along. It’s just that now you are walking with Jesus, with your eyes wide open.