The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Changing course

Love can break chains of dogged certainty, soften calcified heart

Read Jonah 3:1-10

"Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet." If you are wondering who first spoke this phrase, her name is Anonymous. I've never met Anonymous, though I'd like to meet her someday since she is responsible for quite a few popular sayings.

In the case of this one, I'm going to venture a guess. Anonymous was the wife of a prophet of the Lord named Jonah.

Jonah surely had many attributes, but an eagerness to listen to the Lord was not among them. He was in love with his own beliefs and opinions. When God first commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh, a city pregnant with evil, and declare that godlessness would only lead to destruction, Jonah went in the opposite direction. He jumped on a boat and sailed as far away from God as he could.

Eventually, Jonah must have caught up with his wife, who informed him that following the Lord requires something of a person. If you're going to ask the Lord to guide your feet, then you have to be willing to move them toward God. Hardening them in the concrete of your own agenda won't take you anywhere faithful.

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Embracing diversity