By Amber Cerveny
Jonah was greatly displeased
and became angry that God did not carry out
the evil he threatened against Nineveh…
But the LORD asked, “Have you reason to be angry?” ~ Matthew 6:9-10
A few weeks ago, I turned 40. Honestly, I have been dreading this day since my 35th birthday. Half of you reading this are probably thinking, thank goodness I have a few years before that, and the other half are thinking it would be great to be 40 again.
I hate getting older…at least that’s what I thought the dread was about. Every time my upcoming birthday got mentioned, someone would say get over it or embrace it, or at least you aren’t (insert whatever age they considered old). However, those sentiments did not help, and as time drew closer to the dreaded birthday, it sank in that it is not about getting older but about the fact that I am not where I thought I was going to be at the age of 40. Somehow, God missed the memo of my life plan when it came to working, relationships, and finances.
I find myself yelling “WHAT YOU ARE DOING GOD???” on a semi-regular basis.
In today’s first reading, I related to some of Jonah’s sentiments. It says Jonah was greatly displeased with God. When I read that, I thought, I hear you! Sometimes I am frustrated with God and not because He forced me to turn 40, which sounds ridiculous, but because God is not aligned with me. Jonah was convinced that he knew better than God on what should happen to the people of Nineveh. When God was not aligned with Jonah—Jonah got angry.
I am always amazed when reading the Bible that a story about a man who gets swallowed by a fish ends up relating to my life. Maybe you are like me, sometimes frustrated with where God is leading you; perhaps you think you have a better plan than God does (I know I do; I tell Him that all that time). Maybe like Jonah, you are angry that you got dragged into a situation and the outcome wasn’t what you thought it should be. The question is, when we feel frustrated, angry, and confused, is there a simple solution to aligning ourselves with God’s plan versus the other way around? I believe today’s Gospel sets up the solution for us. In these moments, it is helpful to turn to the Our Father. Our Father who is in heaven, YOUR will be done, forgive us for thinking we know better than you and save us from all our mistakes so that we might live with you.
Let us pray today with the words, Jesus gave us, “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
Call to Action
For further reflection, pray the Our Father (in its entirety), slowly, meditating on each word.
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