Abortion
Abundant Life
Accountability
Adultery
Angels
Anger
Attitude
Backsliding
Bible
Blessing
Carring Each Others Burdens
Change
Character
Christian Living
Church
Church Discipline
Compassion
Confession
Cross
Cults
Death
Disobedience
Drugs
Encouragement
Evangelism
Faith
Family
Forgiveness
Friendship
God
Grace
Grief
Guilt
Hearing God
Heaven
Honesty
Hope
Jesus
Judging
Judgment Day
Kindness
Kingdom Of God
Love
Lukewarm
Making A Difference
Marriage
Material Possessions
Mistakes
Obedience
Peace
Peer Pressure
Perseverance
Prayer
Priorities
Repenance
Restoration
Sacrifice
Salvation
Satan
Second Coming
Self Esteem
Self Reliance
Serving
Sin
Stubbornness
Stumbling
Suffering
Suicide
Temptation
Thanksgiving
Trust
Wholehearted Devotion
Worship

 


Self Esteem

Once upon a time, there was a little boy the other children called "Sparky," after a comic strip horse named Sparkplug. Even though the boy hated that nickname, he could never shake it.

School was difficult for Sparky. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school. In fact, he still holds the school record for being the worst physics student in the school's history. He also flunked Latin, algebra, and English. He didn't do much better in sports. He made the school's golf team, but his poor play ended up costing his team the championship.

Throughout his youth, Sparky was a loser socially. Not that he was actively disliked by other kids-it's just that nobody paid much attention to him. He was astonished if a classmate even said hello outside of school. He never dated or even asked a girl out. He was afraid of being turned down. Sparky didn't let being a loser bother him that much; he just decided to make it through life the best he could and not worry about what other people thought of him.

Sparky did, however, have a hobby. He loved cartoons, and he liked drawing his own cartoons. No one else thought they were any good, however. When he was a senior in high school, he submitted some cartoons to the school yearbook and they were rejected. Sparky kept drawing anyway.

Sparky dreamed about being an artist for Walt Disney. After graduating from high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios inquiring about job opportunities. He received a form letter requesting samples of his artwork. The form letter asked him to draw a funny cartoon of "'a man repairing a clock by shoveling the springs and gears back inside it."

Sparky drew the cartoon and mailed it off with some of his other work to Disney studios. He waited and waited for a reply. Finally the reply came another form letter telling him that there was no job for him.

Sparky was disappointed but not surprised. He had always been a loser, and this was just one more loss. In a weird way, he thought, his life was kind of funny.

He tried telling his own life story in cartoons-a childhood full of the misadventures of a little boy loser, a chronic underachiever. This cartoon character has now become known by the whole world. The boy who failed the eighth grade, the young artist whose work was rejected not only by Walt Disney Studios but by his own high school yearbook, was Charles Monroe "Sparky" Schultz-creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip and the little boy loser whose kite never flies: Charlie Brown.

We have all experienced rejection and failure in life, but God has gifted each one of us with unique talents and abilities that enable us to make a significant contribution to the world. What are your gifts? Unless you attempt to use them, you will never discover how God prepared you to contribute. We need to be like the little boy in Scripture who offered Jesus his lunch-Jesus in turn used it to feed a multitude. (See John 6:9.)

Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks
Wayne Rice, Zonderzan, pp. 186-188.