By Ken Cooper
Jonah 1-2; 3:1-3 (to first.)
Now God I’ve made a habit of obedience to You,
But this last thing You’ve asked of me is not what I will do.
For Nineveh as You have said is such a rotten place,
It’s hardly right I should go there and show my honest face!
Now just this once I’m going to think about someone called “me”,
So, You look out for Nineveh, while I’ll be off to sea!
So off I went to Joppa, paid my ticket, got on boat,
Set sail to go to Tarshish with a big lump in my throat!
I’d hoped He hadn’t seen me, but the chance was pretty slim,
There’s not a lot, if anything, gets past Almighty Him!
The boat set sail, so far so good; I’m going to get some kip.
While I’m asleep and out of sight, I’m safe inside this ship.
But then a mighty tempest broke fast against the vessel,
Worthy men sweat hard and long against this unfair wrestle.
They cried in fear unto their gods to rescue them from death,
And cast forth all their wares and goods with their remaining breath.
I am awoke by pleas and shouts, and then they cast them lots,
The situation’s urgent as we’re doing fifty knots!
I do confess, when they do ask, the whole thing’s down to me;
I didn’t listen to my God and now I’m all at sea!
“I tell you, just cast me now into the boiling water”,
But first, they tried to save us all: still seemed certain slaughter!
The sea got worse, it beat them back, the whole thing very odd.
They took me up and cast me forth. The sea went calm. Thank God!
I fell into the deep grey sea, their boat back under sail.
My life at risk, I’m sinking fast when swallowed by this whale!
Like some bad dream I’m still alive, quaking like a jelly:
God provided shelter in this fish’s bulging belly!
I pray and pray, for I have sinned, I truly do repent.
For three long days and nights I pray. Its time that is well spent.
I don’t know how but suddenly I end up on dry land.
The last few days have certainly not gone as I had planned!
The word of God comes once again, and this time I agree.
And I preach this simple message. Repent and you’ll be free!
I should have known that God is All and His word is the best.
In strict obedience is peace: in Love there is true rest!
[Oh delightful paradox! In compliance we do find
Only then is freedom found when we know One Mind.]
Ken Cooper 2018