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Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)
TITLE: Why me, God?
By Daniel Kane
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I was happy with our set-up. I needed employment, and you wanted a way to let your children know they were misbehaving. So, around the country I went, telling people your news, and letting you get all the credit. Did I do something wrong? The people were always very enthusiastic in their responses, doing everything just the way the check-list describes. Feasting and dancing after an affirmative message. Carefully re-checking the Scriptures after a warning. And after 'repent' messages, you got to enjoy loads of sacrifices. It's not as though I made you endure ash and dirt flying around. I was the one who got spattered. What went wrong? Look, God, never in my wildest dreams had I imagined having to preach to the heathens. Can you blame me for my reaction?
Consider my side of the story for a moment. No, just listen. I'd just enjoyed some lovely feasts in Nazareth after an affirming message, and I was wondering where my next mission would be. Then you said I was to go off to Nineveh. Remember my response? No way. It's not fair. I've done so much for him. And he repays me by sending me off on a suicide mission to a bunch of barbarians! Doesn't he know that the moment those Ninevites see me, I'm a dead man? Tough. I'm not going!
Naturally, I wanted to get as far away from my new 'mission field' as possible. That's why I boarded the boat for Tarshish and went below-decks to snooze. If God's watching me, I reasoned, let him try and get me. You got me all right. What a storm. I knew the signs too well. My thoughts raged. He's furious. I'm doomed! I'll never set foot on firm ground again. Oh, how I wish I had never been born!
Now, don't get me wrong here. I was thankful when you rescued me, but it didn't cheer me up that much. Because it was all your fault in the first place. You sent the storm. You told the sailors I was to blame. You made my legs cramp up so that I sank like a rock. And you came up with the most stinky method of lifesaving ever invented. You know I've never been too fond of fish. Why not send a dolphin to carry me to shore? Now I can't look at a fish without throwing up.
Why did you punish me, God? I did go to Nineveh. I wasn't too enthusiastic about it, but I went. After all your arm-twisting, what choice did I have? But let me tell you it was not a happy prophet who wandered into the city, enduring jeers and spittle flying in his direction. I didn't dare sleep for fear of being knifed. Okay, here I am. So, I'll just give the message, get swarmed by an angry mob, and float up to Heaven where I can properly yell at God. I was sort of looking forward to that.
So naturally I was amazed when the people repented. After all my whining, complaining to you about how idiotic this was, those Ninevites let me go. I was so set on proving your mistake to you, I wanted to die. I could picture you looking down at me with a smug smile on your face. It's just a ruse. I reassured myself. He'll never really forgive them. I'd better find a safe spot from which to watch the fire and brimstone.
You taunted me. You teased me. You forgave filthy Gentiles, and you condemned me to die here, a slow, agonizing death far away from home. Not a single reward did you give to me. And so, God, here I am. What have you got to say for yourself?
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