Chloe is at a stage right now where she won’t listen to anything I tell her to do.
I tell her to clean her room, and she doesn’t even acknowledge I’ve said anything to her. She stays right where she is, playing with her toys or watching television.
It’s kind of frustrating when I’m trying to get her to do something, and she’s acting like she doesn’t even hear me. Or worse, she does something completely contrary to what I tell her.
The Bible records a similar event with the prophet Jonah. God spoke to Jonah and told him to go to Nineveh and “preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:1).
Instead, Jonah hopped on a boat headed to Tarshish. His intent was to flee God’s presence. As if it was possible to do that.
While aboard the ship, a great storm arose. Jonah owned up to the storm being his fault and told the others to throw him overboard. Once he was in the water, God caused a great fish to swallow him.
For three days and three nights, Jonah was in the belly of the fish. He repented of his sins, asked God to forgive him, and God had the fish spit Jonah back out.
This time, when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, he obeyed. The people of Nineveh heard his message, repented of their sins, and God spared the city. All because Jonah finally obeyed the Lord.
By listening to God and doing what he was told, Jonah could have spared himself a lot of trouble.
He also could have spared the people on the boat a lot of trouble, too.
This is the problem when we don’t listen to our heavenly father: We often end up having to endure hardship, and we can sometimes be the reason those around us must endure hardship, too.
I, for one, would rather be the cause of blessings to those around me.
Joseph listened to God (Genesis 37-50). He lived an upright life. As a result, God blessed him as well as those around him. Because Joseph was obedient to the Lord, Potiphar, the nation of Egypt and ultimately the nation of Israel were blessed by God.
Whether we are obedient to God or not has far-reaching consequences not only for ourselves, but also for those around us.
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.