Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

What It's Like to "Hit the Wall"

It is common for runners, and athletes in any endurance sport, to "hit the wall" as they push themselves past their comfort level. Here's how the long distance runner Dick Beardsley described it: "It felt like an elephant had jumped out of a tree onto my shoulders and was making me carry it the rest of the way in."

Hitting the wall is a very real physical condition. Once carbohydrates and hydration are diminished, the body wants to stop. The body burns out of energy and becomes so tired it can't go forward. The day before the Boston Marathon, an article in Harvard Health predicted what would happen to the thousands of runners:

Come tomorrow morning, about 27,000 runners will begin the annual 26-mile, 385-yard (42,195 kilometers) mass run from suburban Hopkinton to Boston. But if past marathons in Boston and elsewhere are any indication, perhaps up to 40 percent of these optimistic and determined souls will slam into a sudden sensation of overwhelming, can't-do-this fatigue several miles (typically about five) before they get a chance to experience the glory of crossing the finish line.

What is true for the body is true for the soul. Spiritually speaking, sometimes we also hit the wall. We feel like an elephant has jumped on our back. We hit that can't-do-this spiritual fatigue. Life is an endurance race, in which we all will at some point "hit the wall" and want to quit.

Related Sermon Illustrations

John Stott's Dying Wish

One of the greatest Christian leaders of the last century was John R. W. Stott, rector of All Souls Langham Place in London and a peerless preacher, Bible teacher, evangelist, author, ...

[Read More]

Finishing Well

Many professional athletes have their trademarks when it comes to celebrating their wins. Tiger Woods has his legendary fist pump. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has ...

[Read More]