That is Jonah’s confession.
As the storm wages and seas get angrier and angrier the sailors on board start throwing whatever they can overboard just so the board can stay above the water.
They’re going down in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. All of them.
Finally the sailors put there heads together because something is fishy about this Hebrew huddled below deck. They cast lots to confirm their suspicion, and sure enough, all signs point to Jonah.
“What on Earth have you done?”
And his poor little heart beats heavier and heavier. Because he’d rather go down than admit it. He’d rather be at the bottom of the sea than in Nineveh, where God called him to go. He’s running as far and as fast from God as he can.
Sometimes I wonder if all this time I’d rather be at the bottom of the seas than Nineveh.
A little background
A long time ago (14 years ago) in a galaxy far far away (Cleveland, OH) I was sitting in my cubical at a small regional insurance company when my phone rang. I was offered a role on the ministry team at my church. I was going to be a pastor.
Now for a litany of reasons I won’t have the time or luxury to get into here, that stint in vocational ministry lasted a whopping 19 months.
And my goal since that time has been to run as far and as fast from it as I could. Shooting down the idea before someone could even finish their question about it. Being as adamant and absolute as I could possibly be that there was no chance I’d ever consider something like it again.
I would do anything for God but I won’t do that. Oh no, I won’t do that.
And now it seems the storm is starting to rage. Being forced to shutter the doors at Strong Tower has led to rough seas and soul searching. Is this just a difficult time for us, for me? Something we just shelter in place and wait out? Is this another instance of “In this world you shall have trouble, but fear not,”?
Sometimes the storms just rage because that’s what storms do. Sometimes it’s meant for you to turn the ship around and start heading in another direction.
Is this, on a very personal level, my Nineveh moment?
I don’t fully know what it looks like for me right now, but there is an adventure for me to live, a battle for me to fight. And that adventure, that battle, starts in Nineveh.
So I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be swallowed by a fish next or what. But this time I am setting my face and pointing my feet toward Nineveh. It’s time to carry out the work God originally had for me some 14 years ago.
Don’t ask me yet what that looks like. Perhaps I’m still in the belly of the fish, praying.
When I get spit back onto shore I will let you know.
What I do know for certain right now is that, just like me, there is a mission for you. You’re not here to pay taxes and die. You were created and created with purpose. No one else can show up like you will.
And that, my friends, means everything to the mission of Strong Tower. Everything.