“And without parables (great stories!) Jesus did not teach” (Mark 4:34).
I once sat through a long session of a convention of realtors just to hear a motivational speaker. The story with which he opened quickly became a mainstay in my arsenal of great illustrations and sermon-helpers.
Time well spent.
I’ve read entire books and come away with one paragraph that became a staple in my preaching thereafter. It was time well invested and money well spent.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling Eat, Pray, Love (which I do not recommend), attended a party 20 years ago and heard something from a fellow whose name she has long forgotten. “Sometimes I think this man came into my life for the sole purpose of telling me this story, which has delighted and inspired me ever since.”
That’s how it works. One story; a whole lifetime of benefit.
Gilbert says the man told of his younger brother who was an aspiring artist. Living in Paris and struggling to get by, he seized every opportunity to get his name before people. One day, in a cafe’ some people invited him to a party that weekend at a castle in the Loire Valley. This was big stuff and he eagerly accepted the opportunity to hobnob with people of wealth and influence.