One of the traits that makes us human is our ability to socialize with others. In socializing, we’re mostly advised to associate with the right people who share our ideals and values. There is a popular saying that “One bad apple spoils the bunch”.
There are some who are of the belief that, humans carry some form of inherent luck which influences people or the environment in which they find themselves. People who are believed to carry bad luck bring misfortunes into the lives of others while those who are believed to be carriers of good luck bring blessings into the lives of people they associate themselves with. In as much as all these assertions cannot be scientifically proven, I believe that one way or the other, the kind of people we allow into our lives influence how it pans out and I’d use the biblical character, Jonah as an example.
One day, the Lord spoke to Jonah saying “Go to Nineveh, that great city, and speak out against it; I am aware how wicked its people are”. Jonah, however, went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went to Joppa where he found a Spain-bound ship, paid his fare and went aboard with the crew to sail to Spain. As a result, the Lord sent a strong wind on the sea which was so violent that, the ship was in danger of breaking up. In order to salvage the situation, the sailors threw their cargo overboard. All these while, Jonah was fast asleep in the ship’s hold. The sailors then inquired from their gods the cause of their predicament and Jonah’s name came up. When they asked him, what should be done to calm the storm, he told them to cast him into the sea.
The sailors out of compassion chose not to do what was told them but rather tried to get the ship to the shore by rowing with all their might. The storm kept getting worse so they had no choice than to throw Jonah into the sea and when they finally did, the storm calmed down.
As humans, our lives are like a ship headed for a particular destination. This ship is designed to carry some caliber of people based on where we are headed. Before anybody can get aboard this ship, the person must be originally headed for the destination our lives have been predestined by God to head towards. The ship Jonah boarded was headed for Spain but Jonah was supposed to be headed for Nineveh.
Photo Credit: Ziglar.com
In this journey of life, different caliber of people associate themselves with us. But have we ever asked ourselves whether they are headed for the destination our lives are headed to?
In principle, Jonah qualified to be on that ship because he paid his fare which is a pre-requisite for joining a ship. As humans, we set our own standards when it comes to our association with people. Popular amongst these standards are a hardworking person, humble, respectful, etc. But have we paused to ask ourselves whether these people are part of God’s original plan for our lives? When you critically examine Jonah, you’d realize that he didn’t have any incorrigible trait but his mere presence brought doom to the sailors.
The sailors in their bid to salvage the situation had to throw away a cargo full of valuables into the sea, just to lessen the weight of the ship while the real cause of the storm (Jonah) was innocently sleeping somewhere. Usually, when storms arise in our lives, we impulsively attribute it to the conspicuous things within our reach.
We fail to conduct a clear assessment of our lives to determine the root cause of our problems. Ironically the greatest storms in our lives are caused by the subtle things we overlook.Jonah boarded the ship empty handed but he ended up causing the sailors to lose their valuables. There are times when our association with some people cost us valuables in the form of strategic relationships, monies, time, energy, etc.
Even after their plans at salvaging the ship proved futile and their gods revealed the cause of the storm to the crew, they were still hesitant to crack the whip. When they realized that containing Jonah on the ship was causing them more harm than good, they had no choice than to cast him out. You see, when it comes to the Jonah’s in our lives, it takes discipline and ruthlessness to deal with them.
The truth of the matter is the Jonah’s are not part of God’s original plan for our lives. They are not meant to be contained but rather cast out. If we fail to recognize this, we’d continue allowing people whose presence in our lives bring nothing but turbulence.
Photo Credit: BillyCox.com
At this juncture, pause and ask yourself these pertinent question. What is God’s plan for your life? What kind of people are you associating yourself with? Are they part of God’s original plan for your life?
If your answer to the last question is No!! you know what to do.
Published by Desmond Tawiah