There are so many things that I could write in today's blog but in the interest of attention span and focus, I will do my best to keep it brief. But we must begin by defining what a U-Turn is.
If you pass the street you needed to turn on, or the street you need to turn left on is blocked by an island, you make a U-Turn to go back to where you need to be. Either way, a distinct change of direction occurs. As a matter of fact it is a total reversal and requires the driver to admit they made a mistake or acknowledge that they cannot turn because there is a barrier blocking the way.
Does any of that ring a bell with you? Does your life need a U-Turn or have you made one but you are on a bit of shaky ground? Think of this.
God asked Jonah to do something but instead he ran away. Then God, who needed Jonah to do this one important thing, caused Jonah and his friends some turbulence to get him to come back when he disobeyed him. Then after further denial he ended up in the belly of a whale (insert your version of whale right here in this story). And when Jonah finally relented and agreed to do it God's way, he was not gently delivered back to solid ground, he was vomited up!
And then after completing his mission, Jonah had a melt down and God had to reason with him again. Man we can be stubborn can't we?
Then of course there was Paul, who had it all together or so he thought. His whale turned out to be 3 days of blindness while God purified his heart and soul. Then when he could see again he made a U-Turn, he started preaching the opposite of what he preached a few days earlier, but this time he was on the right GPS destination, and unlike Jonah, he didn't revert to his old behavior, but he did have a thorn to deal with.
The point is, taking that U-Turn in life can be vary painful to do and requires a complete and total change of direction. It requires not looking back to revert to old behavior or there could be more whales ahead, this time caused more by our own behavior than an act of God. And then, in despair we ask, hey God, why me?
Well Jonah and Paul learned in different ways was that God's purpose is not about us, how good we are, or how much we know, it is instead about what God knows, what he wants us to do and how we need humility to understand all of this.
Sometimes we can only get this through a whale of an experience!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.