Trust Your First Instinct

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A novice youth minister was given the assignment of giving a little children’s message to the kids in front of the whole congregation, just before they were all released into children’s church. He was a little nervous, but he had his illustration well-prepared, and thought he was set to go. So the kids came down to the front of the church, and sat on the floor in a semi-circle around him. He cleared his throat and began, “Kids, what is a little brown animal that lives up in the trees?” And all the kids just sat there, not saying a word. He started to panic, but then stopped himself. He had trained for this. “You know,” he said. “It runs up and down the trunk, and has a fluffy tail.” But still the kids just sat there, silent as all get out. This was bad. “Kids, I am sure you know this. It runs up and down, and gathers nuts for the winter, and chatters at the passers-by.” Nobody said nothing. And the youth minister, against his training and his better judgment, decided to call on one of the kids, a solemn little fellow sitting in the back row. “Billy,” he said, with pleading in his eyes, “surely you know what I am talking about.”

“Well,” Billy said slowly. “I know the answer’s Jesus. But it sure sounds like a squirrel to me.”

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