I thought, "Surely all the spiritually mature Christians I know already know this (duh!) and are consistently doing it!"
[And Who was it that said we must become as little children?]
So for a whole year I was inviting Jesus into everything, in particular our major family crisis: our 20 year old son's cancer as well as our daughter's tumors. But I resisted any thoughts (if I even had them) of sharing my "Boat story."
Every day that year as I drove to school, I would invite the Lord into my preschool class -- my "dream team" group (and maybe that's why they were a "dream team"!).
Then when the next school year approached, I realized that such a simple story could be shared with 4 year olds. So that's what I did.
I got my favorite Bible story book, bought little plastic boats, and early in September, I taught those precious little preschoolers about the disciples inviting Jesus into their boat to be with them in the storm. I ended with...
"Our classroom is our boat. We can invite Jesus into our classroom."
Right away, little David spoke up very adamantly...
"Well, let's do it right NOW!"
And little 4 year old David "burst into prayer," inviting Jesus into our classroom to be with us! In fact, almost every time we prayed together as a group, David would invite the Lord in!
Not long after, I shared the story of my preschoolers and little David inviting the Lord into our classroom/boat with my Precept ladies Bible study group.
One of the ladies suffered a stroke shortly thereafter. When I visited Dona in the hospital, she told me how scared she had been when the paramedics were transporting her in the ambulance.
"Then I remembered the little boy David, and I said to myself, 'I can do that too...invite the Lord into my boat!'" So she invited Jesus into the ambulance and the hospital and everything that went on there. And Dona added, "I had perfect peace!"
What is it about the simple boat story that we all get? from preschoolers to moms...from teenagers to senior citizens...from students to teachers to school administrators (and over the past 15 years, I've shared with all of the above)?
I think the simple answer is that on the deepest level, we all desire...no, we crave...to experience the intimate, powerful, peaceful presence of the Lord in the midst of our "stuff"...our boats! And in our heart of hearts, we are all just children incognito :)
Why not share the boat story with someone today? Get some plastic boats and a Bible story book and start with your children (or someone else's children).
We can learn a lot from the little ones...like my friend Dona did!
From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise. Matthew 21:16