I started the Priscilla Shirer story Jonah last night. I have only seen the first video, but I am not very patient. I have already decided on where the study is going and my mind starts to reel with all of the possibilities:
- what I learned from the study
- what I can do with this learning
- telling everyone what I learned even though I have only seen 1 out of 7 videos
I figure I will take it one step further and blog about what I learned from the study even though I haven’t finished learning it yet.
Priscilla’s Take on Jonah
Here is the premise. Priscilla calls it a “life interrupted”. You know when you are going about your business and something new, unplanned, many times unpleasant, comes and takes you off the planned course you were on.
In Jonah’s case, he was doing his prophet thing when God says:
2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
Really, it says that the Lord came to Jonah. So God comes and tells Jonah to go to Neneveh and Jonah goes the other way.
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.
Priscilla tells us that not many of us get to hear directly from God. And what does Jonah do? He flees. Priscilla and me, both, are amazed that Jonah fled….FROM God!
She tells us that when things don’t go as we have planned:
- a broken marriage
- a really sick family member
- a career train wreck
or some other life altering, path changing event occurs, we might just think of it as a “divine intervention”.
Okay enough about Priscilla’s study, you can go read it yourself. She does a much better job than me retelling it!
My Take on Life’s Interruptions
But she did get me thinking.
What do I do when life throws me a curveball? What do I tell client’s when life throws them a curve ball?
- Do Not Act, yet! Really! Most of us tend to act, or react, when things don’t go our way. When we react we are usually driven by emotion and don’t have all of the information. So, unless it is an emergency that needs an immediate decision or action, don’t do anything immediately.
- Ask God. Seriously, when we are in a dire situation, we may cry out to God, but is it a true prayer or question. Many times it is just an exclamation that really means “Why God? Why is this happening?” I try really hard to move towards God when things aren’t going well so I can really understand the situation and seek God’s wisdom about it. This may be through prayer, reading the bible, or seeking Godly counsel.
- Lean in to the situation. Here are a couple of examples. When my Dad had congestive heart failure and my Mom had a massive heart attack at the same overlapping time, both needed to be taken care of. I would never describe myself as a caretaker. But, I brought my Mom to recover at our house and I personally took care of her. When my daughter lost all of her hair to Alopecia when she was 7, we didn’t spend much time asking “why”? We just took care of her in the best way we could, which was to basically treat her the same way as if she had hair. We leaned into the roles when life threw us a curve ball.
- Share the hindsight with others. As Priscilla said in the first video, we will come out of the “interruption”. By definition, the interruption is an unpleasant break. At some point that break ends. I believe if we seek God and lean into the situation to glorify Him with wherever we are in life, we will come through the other side with good to share.
God wanted to communicate through Jonah. He wanted to use Jonah for His Glory.
The next time my life feels jarred, or interrupted, I will try to be much more aware. God may not come down and talk to me directly (I can still hope) so I will have to pray for His supernatural discernment. However, my focus will be on leaning in to the curve and seeing how God can use this interruption in my life.
What about you? How do you tend to handle the interruptions of life? Do you run the other way like Jonah? Wrestle with God like Jacob? Or lean into God and seek His glory even in the interruptions?