At my apartment in Hale Ola. My new abode for however long. It’s nicer to me even though it’s older and more worn out than the last place. I’m living with the “Kokua Crew”, the majority of the volunteer work force at the YWAM base. There are about 90 people here, a mile from the main campus. I was asked to take it over when my predecessor left for health reasons all of a sudden. She was more amazing than me-a German lady who basically took the program from a work/housing trade to a school of spiritual development, less the classes.
But as usual, it’s in at the deep end. When I was asked to do it, I accepted on the condition that I’d get out of some of the other stuff. Overall, it’s been a nice change. I don’t miss being linked with maintenance at all. On a campus this size, you get a million people a day telling you there’s something wrong with something that you need to drop everything to fix immediately. Either way, it’s service for the base and for sending out teams to the nations, so I’m for it, but this is more contact with people… young people, mostly in their late teens/early twenties, here fore 3 months to serve. Non-stop action.
A good friend here on the Big Island is pastor of a church called, Pu’uanahulu Baptist Church and asks me to preach from time to time when he’s out of town. Last week, he was in Korea with his wife and kids, this week he is back, but next week he’s teaching in Canada somewhere, so I’m back at it. Started last week with the first half of Jonah and next week I’ll finish it. Lots in that little book. 4 chapters; Jonah in 4 places: the Ship, the Fish, Nineveh, and outside Nineveh. The way to take an application from it is to place myself in Jonah’s shoes. He’s a prophet, a man who knows God, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 1:9. He avoids God’s plan then eventually does it, but even when his audience repents, he’s mad about it. Who’s angry when the goal is reached? It might like winning a war you didn’t believe in fighting. In a way, he’s the older of the prodigal, the merciless servant, the hard-working guys in the parable of the eleventh hour, and Cain instead Abel. He knew God, knew he was God’s, but wanted God to snuff out his enemies instead of forgive them. The book ends abruptly,
“But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
Animals? God cares about animals. Of course he does. He created them. God cares about people too. All of us-not just me like I do. It’s second nature to care most about myself, or should I say, first nature, or, sinful nature? Self is the default setting for me. God challenges Jonah, “You have been concerned about…” and then reveals his heart, “…and should I not have concern for..?”
In other words, it’s a lesson in proprieties for Jonah…and for me. What am I concerned about? Do I care as much about others as I do about getting my way? Do I hope the people I struggle with in life get the same grace, mercy, and forgiveness I get? Or would I be happier if they had to pay the price?