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Summer 2010

‘Iobotics: The Roar of Scoreboards, the Flash of the Crowd
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Summer 2010 - Department | St. Alban’s Minute

Swallowed by the Bamboo Fish

The biblical story of Jonah is not a story about a destination but instead a story about what happens to this reluctant prophet along the way. Jonah is running from God. Asked to go to Nineveh, Jonah flees in the opposite direction aboard a ship to Tarshish.

Along the way, they encounter a storm, and the deckhands, thinking that this is God’s wrath because of Jonah’s disobedience, promptly throw him overboard. He is swallowed by a whale and has a revelation and a change of attitude and heart. Once freed of his ichthyian prison he heads to Nineveh to bring God’s message to the people.

For Jonah, true insight came in middle of the journey, not at its end.

Consider your life now as being in a time of transition. For our recent graduates, they are transitioning from high school to college life and independence, for our younger grades students are preparing to enter the next academic phase of their lives, for the rest of us, we are still in a time of “in between” whether that means we are in between jobs, projects, coming off a vacation or sabbatical. It is the “in-between” time that we should savor the most since it offers the most opportunity for growth. Results come and go. There are successes and failures, wins and losses, accomplishments and records are replaced by others or fade down memory lane.

The challenge then for all of us is to honor the process in growing and learning.  We never stop learning and we never stop growing. We are constantly adding to this bridge of our lives, strengthening it where it needs to be strengthened, and/or (hopefully) letting go of those things that are holding us back or simply no longer needed. 

Through it all, God is there. Jonah reminds us of that. Whether it was the storm at sea, in the belly of the whale, or under the unpredictable plant in Nineveh, Jonah was never alone. Neither are we. Transitions by their very nature are temporary, they are a time of “in-between”. In these times of transition, I pray that you feel God’s presence all the more and realize that this time of “in-between” is not merely a task awaiting completion, but time of process.

The Rev. Daniel L. Leatherman