On Friday afternoons, I have the privilege of leading a Bible study for elementary students called CREW. This is, perhaps, the very best part of my job. We are doing a 6 week series in CREW on "Very Bad Days". We have already covered Moses' bad day and how God delivered Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptians, just not in the way Moses was expecting. Last week we talked about Mary's bad day which ended happily with the birth of Jesus. So this week we discussed the disciples' bad day (Mark 4:35-41) when Jesus calms the storm. I had the kids act out the story by playing the roles of Jesus, disciples, storm, water and waves. Little Timmy played the role of the wave perfectly. I think he has a serious acting career in his future. It was very loud and fun and I think the kids all understood the story by seeing it in action.
We then sat down and went over a few discussion questions about what they learned from the story. In order for them to get the full meaning of the passages, I always try to relate it to their lives somehow. So, I explained to the group how sometimes when people have difficult times in their lives it is called "going through a storm". I asked if anyone had heard that expression before and almost all of the kids said that they had. I asked for a volunteer to tell us about a difficult time in their live. Several hands shot up and I called on one of the boys. He said, "One time (by the way, 99% of elementary kids stories start with the phrase "one time") one time there was a storm outside my house and it was really loud." So I smiled and said, "Yes, that is an example of a real storm. Does anyone have an example of a time when things were hard or difficult for you?" I called on another student who said, "One time, there was a hurricane and I got hit with hail and it was like a 10 pound hail." I realized that if I didn't give them an example I was just going to continue to get more stories about actual storms. I told them how when I was younger I got mono and was really sick and had to miss a lot of school and it was a hard time for me. I heard a chorus of "ooooohhhhh"s which made me hopeful that they finally understood what I was asking. I called on one of the older kids who said, "One time (long pause) at my baseball game (long pause)....(at this point I have breathed a sigh of relief that his story is about baseball instead of bad weather)..."one time at my baseball game.........there was a tornado" Doh!
We switched gears and I asked them to think of a time that they felt like Jesus helped them. This is the question I should have asked from the start. They all had great answers that included a difficult time in their life and how now, looking back, they can see that Jesus was watching over them. Of course, one last comment came from a 1st grader who said, "one time...a tsunami came...and it touched my leg but Jesus helped me. I had to work hard not to laugh as I thanked him for sharing that story.
I love my job.