Pics for Web.005One of a series

In the first part of this series, we are introduced to the prophet Jonah who is given a mission he doesn’t want to fulfill.  Instead, Jonah chooses to run away.  In fact, he runs as far in the opposite direction that he can go and his actions have placed others in danger. The series continues:

Now Jonah had gone down into the hold of the vessel to lie down and was deep in sleep. 6 The ship’s officer came and said to him, “How can you possibly be sleeping so deeply? Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps the god will give some thought to us so that we won’t perish.” – Jonah 1:5b-6 (CEB)

Sometimes, you just have to wake up.

Has anyone ever accused you of being “asleep at the wheel?”  Maybe, that you don’t see what’s coming?  Or, maybe it’s simply that you don’t pay attention.

Whatever the case, it’s not intended to be a compliment. In fact, it’s a statement that suggests you aren’t really doing your job.  Things are happening around you and you just aren’t engaged in them.

Sometimes, you just have to wake up.

That’s the charge that the ship’s officer is leveling at Jonah..  If you remember, God tells Jonah to “get up and go” to Nineveh and Jonah decides to “get up and run” to Tarshish.  He’s going a thousand miles in the wrong direction.

Sometimes, you just have to wake up.

Because of his poor choice, Jonah ends up on a ship and a storm is swirling around it.  Jonah’s poor choice places other lives in jeopardy. The crew is afraid and they are throwing the precious cargo over the sides to save their lives.  If you’re a transport ship, your most valuable commodity is the cargo you carry.  It makes you money.  They are so afraid, they’re willing to lose profits to save their lives.

And when the captain finds Jonah, he’s sleeping through what is happening around him.  To this point in the story, Jonah is (1) running from God and (2) disengaged from what is happening in the world around him.

Sometimes, you just have to wake up.

That’s our first warning when it comes to getting a reset, a second chance, God’s grace. We have to come out of our sleep and see the world as it is.  Sometimes, we have to see just how dark or ugly things around us have become.  We have to see how it is affecting our very lives.

To take the next step in our journey, we have to wake up.

In scripture, Paul gives that reminders in Ephesians 5:14: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

What would change for you today if you could wake up and notice what is really happening around you and to you?  What if you could see it from the perspective of God?

Maybe, for all of us, those two simple questions could propel us to what will happen to Jonah in the next part of his story.

In the meantime, think about the words from “Slumber” by needtobreathe: