My dad and his fishing buddies found themselves in the midst of a storm on the ocean. I’ve written about it at the Register and other places, but the bottom line is, the motor and the spare wouldn’t work. The storm began tossing the boat. They put on life jackets, messed with the radio and motor, cursed and worried.
One uttered a prayer, “I wish old J.C. was here.” My dad said, “What makes you think He isn’t?” I can hear the growl that revealed fear in his voice. “Well, I wish He’d give it this.” Dad’s friend said, and spread out his hands as if to smooth a table cloth.
“Well, it’s not because He hasn’t been asked,” my dad replied. The storm on the boat and the one over the ocean, disappeared as they laughed.
Understanding that whenever we face suffering, we are “on the boat,” is a reality we tend to forget until reality reminds us to remember. Today, I drove to the church because of a pending summer storm.
One of the beauties of our faith is, Christ remains fully present in the tabernacle. Though the door of the tabernacle remained shut, I knew, Christ is present, like Christ on the boat as the apostles wrestled with the boat in the waves, wind and rain. Telling Christ all the worries, and reminding myself, “He’s on the boat. He’s on the boat. He’s on the boat.” I knew, Christ already knew all my worries, but wanted me to come even if He remained behind the door. Man how I wished somehow, the door would fly open. I wanted to fly open my own heart. “On the boat, on the boat, on the boat.” was all I could get out.
Thinking about sin, sin is the door that keeps Christ from us. It is the door we shut when we say, “There is no room in the Inn;” the door we close when we argue, “There are six days when He could heal someone;” and the heart we harden when we sneer, “He dines with sinners and prostitutes.” Every time we say, “Surely, it is not I,” by denying our own sinful nature and predisposition to sin, we deny Christ further access to the interior castle of our heart where He longs to reside.
Prayer is inviting Christ to knock, to invite Himself deeper and deeper into our lives. In prayer, we admit, we’ve kept doors closed. Asking God to pull us out of our little world, and into the bigger one that God always intended for us, is the purpose of prayer. We were made for the real Narnia we’ve never known but always known existed.
Our voyage on the Dawn Treader to Aslan’s country in the East takes the whole of our lives. It involves discovering we sin, (no surpise there) and the wonder of wonders, we can be and are offered the grace of forgiveness. We can like the dawn, “Begin again,” and even better, we need not wait until tomorrow. In fact, we shouldn’t wait until tomorrow.
We never know when a storm will stir up on this ocean, and when it does, it’s good to know two things…1) He’s on the boat and 2) that you can assert if the storm hasn’t abated, “It isn’t because He hasn’t been asked.”