The Altar and the Door
Somewhere between the hot and the cold. Somewhere between the new and the old. Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find me.
In past blogs, we’ve talked about moments when we feel out of control. This is because it’s often related to our experience in suffering. We feel helpless in those situations — with a lack of self-efficacy. And, of course, we’ve talked in the past about how the answer leads to knowing God is always in control — even in times of pain and chaos. He is the one who controls the storming sea around us, and the gust of wind that toss us here and there. But I want to propose a new idea: What if we are in the midst of loving life? When we find ourselves in a place with contentment, what would our response be if God called us to a mission? What if God told us to sail our ship in the storm? Or to stand on a hill where the wind sweeps the strongest? To willingly jump into the chaos that has potential to shatter our faith — yet is in God’s control …
Somewhere between the wrong and the right. Somewhere between the darkness and the light. Somewhere between who I was and who you’re making me. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find me.
We find in the old testament the story of Jonah. In this case, it caught my attention to review this book over. And to my surprise, there’s entire sections of this book that I never knew were there. This proves the idea that it is crucial in putting inquiry over assumption. That’s what we’re about here at the Millennial Spark. It’s about self-empowerment. Self-inspiration. Self-education.
Typically, I assume the story of Jonah is about us being too stubborn to do what God asks us to do. But on further research, I’ve found a different theme to this story. I observed Jonah as having two contrasting sides of his character. On one side, it’s what we typically associate him with. We read the story that Jonah runs away from God. He despises the idea of God forgiving the city of Nineveh. In fact, Jonah is directly opposed to God’s desires. This is the case even when the entire city of Nineveh expresses extreme humility through the act of putting on sackcloth. They grieve over their sins. And yet, Jonah still has a childhood tantrum. Even when the struggle is over, Jonah is still bitter. Yet the other side of Jonah goes unnoticed. On the other side, he’s an individual that cares and is willing to give himself up so that the other shipmen don’t sink. He devotes an entire chapter to praising God in saving his life and never leaving him — all while in the belly of a large fish. This unseen appearance of Jonah is significant.
I pondered on what this meant regarding the theme of the story. It was in that moment that I had an inquiry: Perhaps this story of Jonah is about relatability. In a way, we as Christians struggle with what Jonah is experiencing — partiality about God’s will for our life.
Make sure to not misinterpret in what I say. To be clear, this entire blog is centered around Jonah getting a job done. But the act of completing a job is not the point of this blog… Rather, it’s about our character. Our integrity. Our morals. We act when we see someone suffering and is in need of love. We get serious about our faith and find what we believe in. It’s about humbling ourselves by putting on sackcloth. Forgiving those who are unforgivable — not with invalidation towards ourselves, but with validation that God is pure and innocent. He’s the plant that provides shade, even when we are undeserving.
So let us end this Bible blog with a question. Here in the ministry, we have commonly asked the question of, “What is God’s purpose for my life? What job does God have me complete?” If you’re new, I look forward to explore this question with you in our future blogs. We ask these type of questions for the purpose of self-empowerment. Self-growth. Self-education… To be a leader for the faith we believe in. That’s who we envision ourselves to be.
Fearless warriors in a picket fence. Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense. Deep water faith in the shallow end, and we are caught in the middle. With our eyes open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is. But will we trade our dreams for His? Or are we caught in the middle?
Lord, I feel you in this place. And I know you’re by my side. Loving me even on these nights, when I’m caught in the middle.