Sermon Illustrations > Pride > Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, (Word Publ., Dallas: 1994), p. 7

There is a story told, whether factual or not I do not know, of the one-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Muhammad Ali, flying to one of his engagements. Ali's name has never been synonymous with humility, and thus whether this story is fact or fiction, the notoriously yet affectionately branded "Louisville Lip" at least made possible such an anecdote. During the flight the aircraft ran into foul weather, and mild to moderate turbulence began to toss it about. All nervous fliers well know that when a pilot signals "moderate turbulence," he is implying, "if you have any religious beliefs, it is time to start expressing them." The passengers were accordingly instructed to fasten their seatbelts immediately. Everyone complied but Ali. Noticing this, the flight attendant approached him and requested that he observe the captain's order, only to hear Ali audaciously respond, "Superman don't need no seatbelt." The flight attendant did not miss a beat and replied, "Superman don't need no airplane either."