The body is made up of so many wonderful systems. One part of the body is our adrenal gland, which produces a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline stimulates an increase in heart-rate, contracts blood vessels and dilates air passages, along with a number of more minor effects. It is produced in high-stress or physically exhilarating situations. The term “fight or flight” is often used to characterize the circumstances under which adrenaline is released into the body.
It is just a reality that on this fallen planet man will have stressful “fight or flight” situations. Let me suggest a flaw in one of the options, “flight.” Running away from problems is not only pointless, but it leads to a misguided sense of security. As much as we want, we can’t just ignore the problems. The reality is, problems follow you until they are resolved.
This was never so real in my life than a few years ago. As most of you know, I work in medical sales. This is a highly competitive work environment. The environment was that much more tenuous because those I worked with were believers. Over time, some issues arose that caused an unnecessary wedge between me and my co-workers and me and my employer.
Like electricity, I chose the path of least resistance. At the time I justified it as better for the group that I leave, rather than bring to a head what would certainly cause dispute. I made this life-changing decision without so much as a prayer or counsel from anyone. I ran!
There was a man called Jonah who did the same thing. Instead of doing what he knew was right, he too ran.
Synopsis of Jonah:
Jonah doesn’t like his duty, so he tries to flee from God on a ship – Jonah 1:1-14.
To calm a storm, the crew throws Jonah into the sea, where he is swallowed by a great fish God provided – Jonah 1:15-16.
In the belly of the fish for three days, Jonah cries out to God, repents, and swears to carry out his mission. The fish vomits him onto dry land – Jonah 1:17-2:10.
Jonah preaches in Nineveh and the people repent. God spares them – Jonah 3:1-10.
Angry at God’s compassion, Jonah complains when a vine that had shaded him dies. God scolds Jonah for being more concerned with a vine than the 120,000 souls in Nineveh – Jonah 4:1-11.
Like Jonah I found myself out of God’s will. Carried in the belly of Oklahoma for a year, it spit me up back on the shores of San Diego. Financially broke and spiritually broken, I finally listened to God and returned back to mend some fences. This took some humility from all of us, but I learned an invaluable life lesson.
God gives and takes away as He sees fit. Some rise as others remain the same. It is our responsibility to seek out what He desires us to learn from these experiences, to confront them boldly and to run to the adversity instead of from it, knowing that when we are at our least, He is at His most.
I was graciously let back into my work family, and through the pains of conflict we are once again united. We share a passion for each other’s well-being that surpasses tenfold any of the animosity I carried for so many years. We are brothers in sales, in our desires to grow men and our love of ministry. Our goal is to shine as light in the darkness. It is so good to be back where God never intended me to leave. Home!