Monday, February 25, 2008

Well, call me Jonah...

Not in that I ran from God or ignored his missive, but that when God (FINALLY) did what He had promised me He would do (which was a good thing), I was (am still) mad at Him (because IMHO, He should have done things sooner and without so darn much drama). Embarrassing, but true.

Have you ever read the *end* of the book of Jonah? The very end?

Not when Jonah runs from God, or when he gets swallowed into the belly of a whale or even when (gak) the whale spits him out onto the land.

No. The end.

Here is a brief synopsis. God tells Jonah to go and tell the people in the city of Ninevah that things are not well and need to change, lest He destroy the city.

Jonah says, "No, thank you." and heads the other way. Gets on a ship. While at sea, God brings about a terrible storm. Jonah knows he is the problem and suggests that his shipmates throw him in the drink; which they are more than happy to do. Storm calms.

Whale swallows Jonah. Jonah has several days to think things over, while inside the whale. He prays and asks God to save him. God hears Jonah's prayer and the whale spits him out.

God gives it another try--He tells Jonah to go and deliver His message to the people of Ninevah. This time, Jonah goes and does as he was instructed. He tells the people that they need to straighten up and fly right. And guess what? The people heed the message from the Lord (that does not happen very often).

And here's where it gets dicey for me...errrr, Jonah. Because the people repent, God relents.

And that torks Jonah. Essentially Jonah says to God, "Well, that's just great. I knew You'd never destroy the city, so I wasn't real hip about telling people that you would. But, noooooooo. You make me tell them anyway. So I do. And then, You don't destroy the city and so I look ridiculous. What the heck was that all about? Why don't cha just kill me?". (OK, I never asked God to do that, but still...).

God's piercing question to Jonah is this: "Is is right for you to be angry?"

'Scuse, me? Wow. That question makes me squirm. Shuts me right up. I know that He knows that I know the answer is, "no".

But like Jonah, I (so far) think I can either ignore God or tantrum my way out of answering this pointed question.

I must admit, it's not working.

And the silence is deafening.

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