Running Away

Read Jonah 1:1-17

Have you ever had a chore or an assignment which you just did not want to complete? You probably procrastinate as long as you possibly can. Maybe you go to the person who gave you the chore or assignment in an attempt to bargain with them and convince them why you should not be expected to complete it. You might even avoid the assigner in an effort to not be confronted in regard to the status of the chore or assignment. Seldom do any of these tactics work and you are forced to do whatever you have been given, complaining the whole time you are doing the work.

Today we read the opening to the familiar story of Jonah. We witness God calling Jonah and assigning him the task of taking a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh. Jonah does not want to accept the task because he has judged the people of Nineveh unworthy of God’s forgiveness and does not like any of them. Jonah does what he thinks will save him from the assignment; he runs away. Running away from an omnipresent God is totally illogical but Jonah  apparently did not fully think through the plan. God gets Jonah’s attention by allowing Jonah, the ship, and his shipmates to be in peril. Jonah attempts to save the ship and his shipmates by going overboard. God saves the ship, the crew, and even Jonah.

How often do we attempt to bargain with God or hide from God? We sense God giving us something to complete on God’s behalf but it is not something we wish to do. We try to get out of it using any means available to us. However, like Jonah, we come to realize the futility of our “running” from God’s call to action. God saves us from our foolishness and sets us back on course to fulfill our assignment.

Are you running from God’s call to action? If so, stop now because in the end you know God’s will is always achieved. Learn from Jonah’s story. In the end, what you are prompted to do will be best for you and those to whom God sends you.