One day the Lord told Jonah, the son of Amittai, to go to the great city of Nineveh and say to the people, “The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”Instead, Jonah ran from the Lord. He went to the seaport of Joppa and bought a ticket on a ship that was going to Spain. Then he got on the ship and sailed away to escape. Jonah 1:1-3
I gotta tell you that every time I read that passage I mutter, I'd have done the same thing!
Lets put Nineveh in perspective. It was the ancients worlds version of Las Vegas. Imagine you've just finished prophets school, got your diploma framed and you are ready to take your place along side all of the great ones - Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah...........
You open the envelope and your first assignment is Nineveh.
Imagine standing on the Vegas strip and shouting “The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”
Hell of a first assignment.
Jonah booked passage to sunny Spain to sip some Sangria, pop a few olives and contemplate his next move.
He never got that far.
A storm came up, the other passengers took a vote and Jonah went overboard. He swam and struggled and finally a huge fish swallowed him and deposited him on a sandy shore which, wasn't Spain, thank-you-very-much.
When Jonah looked up he saw he was right back where he'd began, at the gates of Nineveh.
I imagine he heard this voice saying Okay lets take it from the top:“The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”
So Jonah walked through the city for three days shouting the message and to make a long story short, the people started acting the way God asked them to act to begin with. Jonah ends up sitting in the boiling sun on hill overlooking Nineveh and wondering if God knew all along that these people were going to change, why did he have to send Jonah? He could have sent anyone.
I read this story once each week. It reminds me that no matter how much I think I know what I am supposed to be doing and where I am supposed to be going, there is a definite plan for me and my life.
Just like there is for you.
No matter what your higher power is - God, the Universe or the poplar tree in your backyard - there is a definite reason why you are who you and where you are RIGHT NOW.
Sometimes what we are called to do and be isn't the most palatable or desirable thing that's going on but YOU are the only one in all of creation that can handle it the way you handle it and that's why our own big fish swims around making sure we are where we need to be.
I think thats sorta cool
Even if I'd rather be in Spain sipping Sangria and popping olives