“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” Jonah 1:3
REFLECTION Paying the fare will not get us there! Jonah paid the fare and departed for Tarshish – the wrong place. Departure for the wrong place is departure from the LORD. This process begins in the heart and gradually or sometimes swiftly engulfs our entire being as we try to escape our spiritual responsibilities.
Copping out is not peculiar to Jonah. It is a common problem in the Church and in Para-church organizations. Once disloyalty to God surfaces, a trip to ‘the port’ of escape will become a logical option. It is there the ‘fare’ is paid to release one from necessary moral and spiritual obligation. The final step in backsliding is ‘boarding’ the ship to Tarshish.
The disobedient tends to get their theology quite muddled. Running away from responsibility generally breeds half baked and poorly thought out excuses. Running away from a problem only compounds it and creates additional ones. Taking a wrong turn at a crossroads takes us further away from our destination. We cannot run from God and expect to be free. Are you running away from God’s will for your life?
PRAYER Lord, help me to confess to you my tendencies to backslide. Amen