Jonah and his whale: Part IV

By Danette Vernon
In coaching clients towards change, I always pull out, at least once, a four-legged creature that sits on the sky blue table in my office. I point out its four legs: one leg for eating right, another for working towards fitness, a third for thinking well, but the fourth? It’s for willingness. Willingness to change, to grow, without which little can be accomplished.
I once heard author Donald Miller speak, and for him, in his books and in person, there is always a search for God and who He is. And as the years go by, it seems that Don thinks that it is his growth, his opening to life and his opening to others, that is the greatest measure of God’s reflection in his life.
Of course, some use God, or some standard defense, as a veil to hide what they cannot yet admit in themselves. I say “veil” because human frailties are so very hard to hide. They are generally written upon our foreheads for the astute among us to read.
As I consider this veil some would use, I would tell you of what the aborigines describe in the book, “Mutant Message Down Under.” They tell of merely watching us, the rest of the world, as we march “along with our shoes on the wrong feet,” in the name of a misconnection. A misconnection created through a deeply ingrained family of origin, social, or cultural misunderstanding of what love means for ourselves, for others, and the creatures we share this place with … for so brief a period of time.
Ahh, the time we waste in the misunderstanding of ourselves, of life itself, when we could be, as author and presenter Erwin McManus believes, “conquering our city,” doing some great thing God gave us the ability to do — with the short time we have here.
And what is the aborigines’ response to our insistence that we walk along painfully with our shoes on the wrong feet of life, of love? They simply, and kindly, allow us our opportunity to do so. Even God allows us our free will to make mistake after mistake, giving us more and more clues, hoping we will take hold of them, learn.
I think, finally, of those heroes who attend Alcoholics Anonymous; people who truly want change enough, as one friend put it, “to crawl” to get it.
Those who are willing “to crawl,” to do whatever it takes each day to get the change they so desperately need; those willing who lose all their masks, and lift the veils they have set between themselves and the truth, these are the ones who will start the journey across the broad mislaid spaces of the soul that we all have, to the peace God promises, within life’s challenges and adventures.
We never find out what happened to Jonah once his time in recorded history is over. But what of your life, how will the rest of it be written? How will you finish your time here? What will you do? Who will you be, to others, to yourself?

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