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Jewish Story about Resting on God's Heart

According to an old Jewish story, once upon a time there was a four-year-old boy named Mortakai who refused to attend school and study Hebrew. Whenever his parents tried to immerse his mind in the Torah [or the Word of God], he would sneak away and play on the swing set. Every form of persuasion failed. Mortakai remained stubborn and defiant. The exasperated parents even brought him to a famous psychiatrist, but that also proved futile. Nothing changed the young boy's heart, which seemed to grow more distant, lonely, and hardened every week.

Finally, in utter desperation, Mortakai's parents brought him to the local rabbi, a warm and wise spiritual guide. As the parents explained their plight, pouring out their frustration and despair, the rabbi listened intently. Without saying a word, he gently picked up Mortakai, took him in his arms and held him close to his chest. The rabbi held Mortakai close enough and tight enough so the young boy could feel the safe, rhythmic beating of the rabbi's heart. Then, still without a word, he gently handed the child back to his parents. From that point on, Mortakai listened to his parents, studied the Torah and, when it was appropriate, he also slipped away to play on the swing set.

Possible Preaching Angles: Prayer, Quiet times, spiritual disciplines, Sabbath rest—all of these practices are just ways of being with God so we can hear his heartbeat. That is the only way to heal our stubborn, defiant, hardened souls.

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