“I know these people need to hear about You and repent, but let someone else do it. I don’t want to.”
That’s my sentiment regarding all the kids in my area. My aching conscience screams at me everytime my daughter goes out to play with them. “A person’s spirituality is determined before the age of 13,” I hear an annoying inner voice saying. I ignore it. “Children are sensitive to a relationship with God. Don’t waste this opportunity! They’ll listen.” This alien thought threatens to abduct my lazy, lethargic resolve to comfortable privacy. Like Jonah, I’d rather hide.
Let someone else do it
I tried this excuse on last week. It didn’t fit. First of all, I am painfully (and I say this in all humility) judgemental. I hang my head in shame. When it comes to Bible teaching, I am a harsh critic. You’d think I would have realized this would be a problem when I invited a few volunteers from the local CEF chapter in our area to hold a back-yard Bible club for me.
Okay, I admit it. I know I could do a better job, I just didn’t want to put myself out there.
I don’t want to.
And this is the heart of the matter, and problem-solving me can’t find a solution except to ignore it and simply do it regardless of not wanting to. Eesh, what a lot of hard work. I blame my mother for this guilt quandary. (sorry mom) Every summer since I have memories, she patrolled nearby neighborhoods for kids to hold Bible clubs for. I naturally helped, and now she’s left me with the tools and talents to do something I don’t have her passion for.
Hence, the sympathy for Jonah. I imagine Jonah was a gifted evangelist. God knew Jonah could get the job done. God also knew Jonah had no desire to use those gifts because that would mean hard work and an uncomfortable life. God could hit the proverbial two birds by telling Jonah to go preach to the pagans: a repentant city and an obedient, mature Jonah. But instead of allowing the experience to soften his heart, Jonah soured. Hmm, I better think about that. Knowing myself, that is definitely a possibility.
What if they listen?
Surprisingly, people do listen. Jonah found this out when he had huge revival on his hands after his painful ordeal with the big fish. I discovered this when the few kids I had left, after the disaster that was the CEF Bible club bored them all away, listened intently to my stories and even came back asking for more!
I don’t know if God was happy with my reluctant obedience. I pray He changes my desires as I continue to obey.