Please tell me that I’m not the only person who does this.
Say that there’s a location we’ve chosen where we want to eat or shop. We begin the trip and where I would turn left, another person turns right. After a few more turns, I may even ask why this route was chosen. It’s rather presumptuous of me to think that the way that I get to a place is the only way someone might choose to go.
I think of some of the “temporary” routes I’ve taken that ended up being a permanent route for me. Someone riding along in my car might ask me why I was taking such a long way around something when it would have been faster to go the old way. It may be months past when a particular construction project was completed, but I had fallen into a new normal.
We all have our preferences. We all have our way of doing something. We tend to believe our way is the right way. We believe that we’ve thought through things in a way that makes sense to us.
Jonah 1:1 One day long ago, GOD’S Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: 2 “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.”
3 But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish, running away from GOD. He went down to the port of Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board, joining those going to Tarshish—as far away from GOD as he could get.
4 But GOD sent a huge storm at sea, the waves towering.
The ship was about to break into pieces. 5 The sailors were terrified. They called out in desperation to their gods. They threw everything they were carrying overboard to lighten the ship. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship to take a nap. He was sound asleep. 6 The captain came to him and said, “What’s this? Sleeping! Get up! Pray to your god! Maybe your god will see we’re in trouble and rescue us.” 7 Then the sailors said to one another, “Let’s get to the bottom of this. Let’s draw straws to identify the culprit on this ship who’s responsible for this disaster.”
So they drew straws. Jonah got the short straw.
8 Then they grilled him: “Confess. Why this disaster? What is your work? Where do you come from? What country? What family?”
9 He told them, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship GOD, the God of heaven who made sea and land.”
10 At that, the men were frightened, really frightened, and said, “What on earth have you done!” As Jonah talked, the sailors realized that he was running away from GOD.
11 They said to him, “What are we going to do with you—to get rid of this storm?” By this time the sea was wild, totally out of control.
12 Jonah said, “Throw me overboard, into the sea. Then the storm will stop. It’s all my fault. I’m the cause of the storm. Get rid of me and you’ll get rid of the storm.”
13 But no. The men tried rowing back to shore. They made no headway. The storm only got worse and worse, wild and raging.
14 Then they prayed to GOD, “O GOD! Don’t let us drown because of this man’s life, and don’t blame us for his death. You are GOD. Do what you think is best.” 15 They took Jonah and threw him overboard. Immediately the sea was quieted down.
16 The sailors were impressed, no longer terrified by the sea, but in awe of GOD. They worshiped GOD, offered a sacrifice, and made vows.
17 Then GOD assigned a huge fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the fish’s belly three days and nights.
Jonah thought he had a choice. He forgot that the will of God is not an option. Jonah was a Jew and the Jews were to be a blessing to the whole world. The man who should have been saving the lost was being saved by the lost.
What are the tasks that you are more likely to do with lots of energy? What tasks would you rather pay someone to do rather than have to it yourself? Have you ever been asked by a friend to complete one of those tasks that you do not like to do? Have a day!
In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what chore the like to do the best
Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:
Remember in Prayer: Heidi, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Edward, Doris, Angela
Prayer: O God, we thank you for this day. Thank you for leading us and calling us. Help us to be open to your call and willing to go and do what may not be way up there on our “favorites chart.” Humble us, O God. Amen
Your E-Votional Servant
© 2016 Lucia Oerter
All rights reserved
The Message Bible – contemporary translation
A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX