Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Poor Jonah

One of my great challenges in ministry is to remember that, just because I've put aside a theological frustration, that doesn't mean others have. For example, the fact that God exists is unquestionable. I feel blessed to know that God exists because of the several ways God has reached out to me to show me his presence. And, the fact that evil exists doesn't nullify God's existence. Sometimes it means that we really don't understand evil and sometimes it means that human beings have free will. I mean, a student getting a bad grade on a test is not an example of real evil. I have trouble not mocking the student that asks why God would allow her to fail the test she just took. Maybe you should have studied harder? MAYBE THIS ISN'T YOUR GIFT!! God didn't give the same gifts to everyone. An evil is when something that should be present (a good) is lacking. Who says that you should have the ability to do advanced mathematics, or science, or theology?

But these are the times when I'm like Jonah. Jonah doesn't want the Ninevites to have the same faith that he has. He doesn't want to go through the arduous task of patiently helping them go from sin to faith. He wants the easy route; to go do what he wants to do. But God didn't just find someone else to be his prophet. He just kept pointing Jonah in the direction of Nineveh. Thank goodness God doesn't give up on me, even as an ordained priest. He reminds me all the time that there is much more that needs to be accomplished.