I have been studying Jonah in two places this month, Victoria’s Let the Son Shine, and my Sunday School class. For the first time in my life, God has taken center stage in this mini-epic. God, our protagonist, makes His plan and will not be deterred.
Enter our leading character...God.
Oh, how I long to place Jonah at the center, much like I desire to place myself as God’s primary concern. If Jonah is the center then all of his rebellion and attitudes are to be mulled over and waded through, much like I indulge myself at times. But, what if the calling is the primary concern? What if I reflect on the history of prophets rather than my daily mindset?
This glimpse has created a struggle for me. If this is true, if God’s plan is the primary element of the book, then where does that leave Jonah? What if Jonah and I are not the center of the universe? I am going out on a limb to say...no, we are not.
I relate to Jonah. I have run, I have drown, I have delivered and I have misunderstood, but that is the peripheral plot. Jonah got to Nineveh and brought a city to God’s throne. This seems to be the point, as Jonah begins and ends with this discussion.
I can’t help but feel conviction at this new insight. If Jonah’s obedience to God’s plan is what proves pleasing, then I must carry that lesson in to my life. Jonah shows me that I don’t have to do it perfectly, nor pleasantly, but I need to do it. I claim to be available. I claim to desire God-sized events in my life, God-sized dreams; but, I am not sure that really want to go to Nineveh. Showing up in a foreign place, smelling like the belly of a whale after soaking in acid for three days, might not be what I had in mind. I would like to show up more like Esther before the king.
So, no matter what, am I willing to go?
Am I willing to embrace the God-size task and complete it?