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The donkey awakened, his mind still savoring the afterglow of the most exciting day of his life. Never before had he felt such a rush of pleasure and pride.

He walked into town and found a group of people by the well. “I’ll show myself to them” he thought.

But they didn’t notice him. They went on drawing their water and paid him no mind.

“Throw your garments down,” he said crossly. “Don’t you know who I am?”

They just looked at him in amazement. Someone slapped him across the tail and ordered him to move.

“Miserable heathens!” he muttered to himself. “I’ll just go to the market where the good people are. They will remember me.”

But the same thing happened. No one paid any attention to the donkey as he strutted down the main street in front of the market place.

“The palm branches! Where are the palm branches!” he shouted. “Yesterday, you threw palm branches!”

Hurt and confused, the donkey returned home to his mother.

“Foolish child,” she said gently. “Don’t you realize that without Jesus, you are just an ordinary donkey?”

Just like the donkey who carried Jesus in Jerusalem, we are most fulfilled when we are in the service of Jesus Christ. Without him, all our best efforts are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and amount to nothing. When we lift up Christ, however, we are no longer ordinary people but key players in God’s plan to redeem the world.

Edited from Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice. Copyright1994 by Youth Specialties, Inc.

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