Looking for the Emergency Exit

I’ve been on bus duty for the past two weeks.
I love bus duty…but I’m terrible at it.
And whether you have only yourself to get dressed and out the door, or you have a small army of whiny night owls to load up…
Mornings are hard.
Herding all the people out the front door without sounding like a raging lunatic…
Well.
I really do enjoy it.
I love interacting with all the kids and watching them in their “natural habitat.”
Most teacher would call it “bus doody” or a not so nice word. 🙂
Most teachers celebrate when they can exit stage left out of bus duty.
I’ve also started Jury Duty.
Now there’s a good time right there.
I admit I’m a nerd.  I really did have fun on Friday.
Honey, those people couldn’t WAIT to hit the door once they were dismissed!
How in the world did I get so lucky to get so much duty?!
“Duty” kind of has a negative connotation.
I never want my job or my family, or Jesus to feel like an obligation.
Something I have to do.
Cue flashback to my mom yelling at teenage Jill who is complaining about going to church: 
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH YOUNG LADY!  YOU GET TO GO TO CHURCH!”
There are times in life though that I feel like I’m being bossed around still to this day.
That I’m still teenage Jill wanting to yell, “JUST LET ME LIVE MY LIFE!  GEEZ!”
But sometimes God gets all up in your biz and changes your plans.
Jonah felt the same way.
He was just minding his own business.
He didn’t want to go to Ninevah.  He didn’t want to fool with those warmongers.  He had other things to do.
May I say, there are lots of people I don’t want to fool with.
They’re what I like to call, “joy suckers.”
They literally suck the life out of someone.
The way these people make me feel I allow the enemy to let these people grind on me, makes me feel so ugly.
I hear the voice of the enemy say, “See?  You’re no Christian!  You can’t stand them!  You’re such a hypocrite!  Look at how much they annoy you!”
I’m going to be the first one to admit that I’m not perfect.
I don’t even pretend to act like I have my crap together.
That’s why I am so thankful for Jonah.
But instead of being a good doobie, Jonah took the last train to Clarksville and didn’t look back.
That is of course until God thought He’d be cute and take a huge storm, “outing” Jonah in the middle of his catnap.
Needless to say, Jonah found a quick exit out of the boat he was escaping in.
Consequently, it was into the belly of a giant fish.
One that he again made a quick exit out of…three days later.
Silly Jonah.
Silly Jill.
The lengths God went to for Jonah.  
Shew.
The lengths He’ll go to for you.
Check out Psalm 139…it’s a doozy.

Psalm 139

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
1How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Y’all.
No matter if you’re the warmongering Ninevite or the cowardly Jonah.
He’ll move the depths of the sea for you.
God wants a heart of love and obedience,  not a check mark out of obligation.
And into a relationship where there is no exit required.

3 thoughts on “Looking for the Emergency Exit

  1. Isn’t it amazing how God uses the belly of a whale (or joy suckers) to get us where we need to be?!? Thanks for the reminder of what He’s done in my life!

  2. How many times I’ve used that “you don’t HAVE to do this or that, you GET to” with my children! Oh that I would remember it myself! Thanks for the reminder that serving God is a privilege, not a job…just like morning ‘duty’. (this is from a former breakfast duty girl)

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