The Scripture reading, for today, is the story of Jonah. If you check the details Jonah actually had a pretty good reason to "go the other way." Do we think we have a good reason too? The Assyrians had NOT treated the Hebrew people very nicely (to put it mildly). Jonah was afraid, wasn't sure he liked what God was planning and went the other direction. Do we ever do that?
I tell people my call story is a lot like Jonah's. I knew I would probably have to move back to MN, from TX, but I still asked my District Superintendent for a student appointment -- you guessed it! -- in the Rio Grande River Valley. I got home, from that meeting, saw I had a messaged on my answering machine and took my dog for a walk. Yup, it was a call from my sister telling me I was needed in MN to be our Dads primary care giver/companion. Has it been different? Has it been difficult? The answer to BOTH is -- yes.
What we need to remember, however, is that God was WITH Jonah -- even in the "belly of the whale." God IS with us also -- even in the changes and the difficulties. We also need to remember that God KEEPS God's promises! God promised me I would stay warm -- and I have (except for the two times I believed the weather man!). God was with Jonah even when Jonah tried to get away from God, was in the belly of the fish AND when Jonah actually went. God was even with Jonah (read chapter 4) when Jonah was angry for/with God doing what God said he would.
What about us? Do we KNOW that God IS with us? Do we feel God's presence? Even as we say 'you want me to go WHICH way?!?!?!" Do we remember, and feel, God?