From time to time, “city kids” would come out for a day in the country. Many times they would end up at the “big pond” swimming with all the “locals.” It did not take long before we were telling the city kids that there was a fish in that pond big enough to swallow them. Of course at first, they would argue that a fish could not swallow a person! Then we would always point to the Jonah story and, more times than not, they were a little reluctant to take the chance of going into the water.
Later, as I grew to view the Jonah story in a different light, it amazes me that once Jonah was regurgitated from the belly of the big fish, and he finally did what God wanted him to do in the first place, he was successful! He went to Nineveh and preached just as God had wanted him to do. And, the people of Nineveh listened and repented! Now, one would think that Jonah would have been glad that the people listened and their city was spared sure destruction. But Jonah was mad that God did not destroy Nineveh!
Today, how many times do we share God’s story and people respond and we get mad about it? I hope we never are disappointed when someone listens to what we say and respond in a positive way to God! That is what we are called to do – tell the story. We don’t have to “close the sale”; that is reserved for the power of the Holy Spirit. We just have to tell the story and leave the rest up to God. We have a very easy job and should not be afraid that we will fail! Now, go to Nineveh and preach the Word! Amen.