We began a new series of sermons at church on Sunday.
Sermons from the minor prophets.
Beginning with Jonah.
And in the first three verses, I'm already blown away:
Jonah Flees From the LORD
1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
Russ, our dear friend and the person who gave the sermon, simply asked, "What is your Ninevah?"
And at first, of course, because I think I'm pretty cool and together most of the time, I thought "Oh, I don't have a Ninevah. I always do whatever God asks of me... After all, I am going to Africa in a few weeks."
(Oh, how pride goes before the fall...)
And then, over the course of the rest of the sermon, there was this nagging little thought. This revealing little annoyance reminding me that there is this one thing I've always been terrified of. This thing that's lingered in my life that I've always said no to. This place I've never wanted to go. My Ninevah.
Asia has been a VERY faithful provider. God has blessed him with a job that comes with amazing benefits, job security, a lot of satisfaction and more than enough money. But he's never wanted to become that state worker who is at the state for 40 years and retires from a job he lost his passion for decades before...
I, on the other hand, think that sounds like a FABULOUS idea. See - I grew up with a Dad who held the same very secure job for my entire life. And retired with amazing retirement benefits. And gave me a very safe and secure feeling childhood. So in my mind - that's just what you do. It's a good thing... a secure, safe, comfortable, stable job. Why in the world would you ever want to leave that?
But I didn't marry my Dad. I married Asia, who is a bit of a dreamer. And who thinks anything is possible and trusts God in deep ways I've never had to because his childhood was one of chaos and total lack of security.
Asia doesn't want to work for the State forever.
He has some pretty specific dreams about what he'd like to do instead.
And all of them terrify me.
Because they feel uncertain. Unstable. Scary.
Up until now, I've sort of (okay - completely) squashed any discussion about Asia following his dream.
And now, I believe it's my Ninevah.
And I have a choice.
Do I try to run away from God?
Because that's sort of ridiculous. Look where it got Jonah...
It's just terribly scary for me.
But I did marry this man. And I love him. And I want him to be happy and fulfilled.
And, of course, there's the whole thing about him always supporting me in whatever... pushing me to follow my passions and dreams and whatever God has placed on my heart... being the perfect husband...
So without going into too much detail (baby steps) I will tell you that I suspect there might be some change in our future.
And that God is growing my trust... very slowly and painfully stretching me and teaching me to say yes.
Yes, I'll go to Ninevah.