Friday, July 31, 2015

God is with You

Daily reading: Jonah 1:1-3
July 31, 2015

Focus scripture: So Jonah got up – to flee to Tarshish from the LORD!  He went down to Jaffa and found a ship headed for Tarshish.  He paid the fare and went aboard to go with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD. Jonah 1:3

Jonah is fine with being a prophet to his own people, not so much with his people’s enemies.  So when God calls him to deliver a message to his enemies to the east, he goes to the ship yard and finds a ship heading to Tarshish, a Phoenician colony on the southwest coast of Spain some two thousand miles to the west.  This way he can get far enough from God that God would not call on him anymore.

So instead of going to the hometown of the enemy Jonah takes off for a Mediterranean vacation in Tarshish.   The voyage to Tarshish is not smooth sailing, and not just for Jonah if you have read on, but for many boats back in the day.  They often where swamped with large waves and strong winds, this journey was not going to be an easy one.  So in other words, Jonah’s flight is not on an easy path.  It is not like option A is to go into a dangerous, brutal, barbaric city and option B is a smooth flight to a beach paradise.  No option B has its own dangers and perils as well.   
Yet Jonah does not hesitate to run and choose option B.
This passage begs the question of what we do when God calls us.  Do we analyze and decide if it will fit into our calendar?  Can we squeeze something in for God say next Tuesday afternoon? 

Yet it is also so much more, what happens when we do not really agree when God calls us to do something because we don’t think it is something we should do?  What sort of borders might God be calling you to cross in order to share the good news of God’s love and forgiveness? 

Prayer:  God help me to respond when you call me to respond to the needs in my own life, in the life of my family and greater community, and beyond.  Amen.

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