Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. (Jonah 3:3)
I have never wanted to be a blogger. Expressing myself through the published word of some kind has always been a back-burner goal of mine, but a blog is the last place I expected to be making my splash. Professional journal contributor, sci-fi novelist, local columnist, humorist . . . any of those sound reasonable to my diverse sensibilities, but the blogosphere has never really held much interest for me. Sure, I will occasionally enjoy a particularly insightful, entertaining or useful post, but no one can claim me as loyal follower. I’ve seen too much over sharing, exhibitionism, and narcissism to want any part of the Mommy-blog crowd. And even worse is the thought of joining the ranks of the talented, effective bloggers I respect. They are authentic, open, and vulnerable. I don’t know about you, but little in my experience has convinced me that the Internet is a great place to share your weaknesses. Not my thing, for sure.
Yet here you sit, reading my very first blog post, and here I sit soul-searching. Why are we at this place? Well, it’s because I have a story to tell that is too good to keep to myself. I want to share my part in a greater story of a God who loves and delivers. I’ve known for a long while that this day was coming – the day I share my story with the world. I had big plans to write a book. Although I feel reluctant to share private moments in my life, I’ve come to terms with the idea. After spending a couple years craftily wordsmithing every line, I would turn my manuscript over to the professionals and the perfect product would emerge. Edited, polished, vetted. Final. Describing events that have reached their conclusion – the parts of my life that I can wrap up and put a bow on. My reach would be small, but powerful, and I would never endure fame beyond an occasional Google hit. Sounds good. I’m in. That was the calling I was prepared for.
Funny how God just doesn’t work that way, isn’t it? Just when I thought I was ready to begin penning my eloquent, well-organized memoir, I found that a different journey lay before me. This other road is the messy, imperfect, real-time, uncontrolled path of the blog. This path tasks me with recounting recent events that have no tidy conclusion, and requires me to let go. It’s a dirt road when I have been preparing for a drive down Main Street. When God sent Jonah to Nineveh, Jonah instead ran away from the Lord and found himself inside the belly of a whale. Once he was vomited onto dry land, Jonah decided it was high time to obey God. Like Jonah, God is asking me to go to a place I do not want to go. Also like Jonah, I have done my time with the belly of the whale, and now here I sit on the shore, ready to deliver my message one sloppy, unedited chapter at a time. This may not be my first choice of outlets for my story, but I happen to know that when we choose God’s will over our own, incredible things happen. His ways are better than ours, and he can perform works that are beyond our imagination (Eph. 3:20). So bear with me, tolerate a few typos and dangling participles, and follow me into Nineveh as my raw, unfinished thread in this great story unfolds.
The Ninevites believed God. (Jonah 3:5)