I fear tornados! Maybe it stems from my annual childhood viewing of The Wizard of Oz, but it’s a legitimate fear! Once, I stayed at a hotel in Nebraska, and a tornado warning came on the television. Panicked, I called the front desk and asked where the tornado shelter was located. You know what the gentleman did? He laughed at me!
Apparently, I have issues anticipating natural disasters, but at least there is a warning with tornados and hurricanes.
Today’s readings feel like a spiritual tornado warning. Granted, Jonah remained in the belly of a "great fish" for three days, but eventually, he was vomited out, and the word of the Lord came to him a second time.
So often God is repeatedly calling us into action, and, like Jonah, we disregard His voice. I know in my life there are things God is calling me to do, ways He is pursuing my heart in prayer, words He wishes I would put to paper, lies He wants to speak truth into, and walls He wants to break down. But I’m stubborn and think I can outrun the Lord.
For most of us, it will take more than two times before we to respond to the Lord’s plea. It might take months or years; hitting rock bottom or admitting addiction; overcoming anger or depression; scattering the seeds of loss or grief. Hearing the song God is singing to us is one thing—in fact, I believe we detect the melody He sings more than we want to admit—but playing the part He has scripted for us is entirely different.
Jonah heard God loud and clear, but ran from Him the first time. (Jonah 3:1-10) How many times will God sing to you and you keep running away from His voice? What are you waiting for? I doubt God is sending a whale your way anytime soon, so you might want to take a simpler route. Trust Him and follow His voice.
If you're not sure what the warning signs are in your life, make a date with Jesus in Adoration and your journal. Call a trusted friend and ask her to coffee to process. Seek spiritual direction.
Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-sized heart for hospitality. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen, International, and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, she is either in church, spending time with family or friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk. You can find out more about her here.