The Gray Elephant from Delaware


God's providence and our freewill


None needed


Ephesians 1:11-23

Today I am going to read your minds by using the wonders of math. I am going to give you some instructions that I want you to follow very carefully.

Think of a number between 2 and 9. Now multiply that number by nine. (Younger kids may need a little help from more mature children here and in the next step.) Your answer will have two digits. Add the first and second digits together.

Subtract five from that number.

Now take your number and find its corresponding letter in the alphabet, if your number is 1 then your letter is 'a', if 2 then your letter is 'b', if your number is 26 then your letter is...(you might leave this question open as a way to get the congregation involved).

Now, think of the name of a state beginning with that letter.

Now, take the second letter of that state's name and think of the name of an animal that begins with this letter.

Think of the main color of this animal.

Is anyone else thinking of a gray elephant from Delaware? (Take a show of hands and include the congregation. Most will be right with you. Some, however, may be thinking of evergreen eels, apple-colored eagles, or whatever an active mind can come up with. Some will have lost track of the math altogether. Strongly emphasize the fact that most of the congregation just had its mind read).

God's plans for our lives is something like this. Just like we could choose any number we wanted to between 2 and 9, we can choose to go wherever, do whatever, and be whoever we choose to be. But we cannot escape God's plan. The will of God will ultimately be done in our lives. The lost will be found and sinners we be made saints. And that friends is called providence...even more wondrous than math.

Now let us pray.