Today's reading: Jonah
He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you." Jonah 1: 12 NRSV
I once had a teacher that said she would give anything for someone to be honest if they were caught doing something they shouldn't. The example she gave was a person who was caught speeding. What if that person, when the cop stood at their window, calmly admitted that they had been speeding and were simply willing to accept the consequences without crying, arguing or lying? My teacher said that would be a person they would greatly admire.
I'm afraid I am not that person. Crying, arguing (not sure about the lying part) were part of my own repertoire when this happened to me. Sure, I got out of the ticket. But I was not ready to accept my own responsibility for my actions.
Jonah is willing to accept responsibility for his actions. He knows he has not done as God has asked. In fact, he would much rather drown than do as God wants him to do!
Not sure I could take such responsibility. I think I would cave in and do as God asks rather than be thrown overboard! I would be convincing the sailors to return to port so that I could head to Nineveh.
But God has other plans for Jonah and other ways of getting Jonah to do what God wants. Perhaps it is Jonah's honorableness that God needs for Nineveh. Perhaps anyone else would not be believed by these foreigners. Only a man so greatly admired could convince an entire city to repent and be saved.
God, help us to be honorable and to take responsibility for all our actions. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims