“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. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, ‘What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?’ ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea,’ he replied, ‘and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.’ (Jonah 1:1-4, 11-12 NIV)
It was time to deworm the livestock again. This is a task that either goes well or it doesn’t. Dealing with the goats is relatively easy but coping with Frank, my gelding, can be a totally different scenario if he decides to balk at the process. And unfortunately, he did so. We tried the wormer paste in between two of his favourite crackers. No dice. I stroked him and talked to him while my daughter sought to slip the concoction into the side of his mouth. Forget that. We tied him up and got stern with him. He just jumped around like a Wildman as we leapt out of the way. Finally, enough was enough. We took him out of the corral, and led him over to two trees that have grown very close together. The space between them is just wide enough for Frank’s head and neck to go through it. I led him into position and then we fastened a lead rope onto both sides of his halter and tied each rope to the tree closest to it.
Frank hates it when we put him into this position and he often fights it by kicking his back feet or trying to pull his head back through or push himself forward. But all of his fighting is futile and he has done this often enough to know it. So, this day when we had him fastened to the trees, he knew it and just stood there without a fight while we administered the dewormer. Yet how much easier it would have been for all of us, especially Frank if he had just graciously submitted, in the first place, and taken his medicine.
And how much easier it is for each of us too, as God’s children if we just graciously accept His commands to us and follow them, whatever they may be. Yet, like Jonah, we too often hear or know what God is calling us to do, but we turn aside, run away so to speak. We put it off. We pretend that it doesn’t matter, we will do it later…or maybe never…who knows. But, just like Jonah and Frank, when we do so, there is a consequence to be paid. And that consequence can be anywhere from major to minor depending upon the situation. Whatever the case, we could have avoided it, if we would only have listened, trusted and obeyed what Jesus has asked us to do in the first place.
Now really people, wouldn’t that be a smart idea?
Prayer: Father God, help us to be children of light who listen, trust and obey You in all circumstances. Encourage us and empower us that we might make the smart choice, when You speak to us that You, the world and ourselves may receive the utmost of blessings. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen