“And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?” vs. 11
Jonah was an angry man, angry that the Lord had spared Nineveh, angry that the bush sheltering him from the sun had suddenly died, angry because he was having to sit in the sun with no shade. And the Lord finally loses patience. Jonah, in his preoccupation with self, was totally unable to look beyond his own needs and see the world from God’s point of view. Most of us share Jonah’s insular perspective. We whine and complain about any number of inconveniences and miss the awful tragedies taking place all over the world on any given day. Unless we know someone personally who faces danger we find it hard to crank up any empathy at all for the millions who are suffering from hunger, war, floods, or hurricanes…and that’s particularly true if they are of another race or religion. The Jonah story reminds us that God has deep concern for every being in our world…all are precious and have value, and deserve our attention and compassion. Instead of being angry and resentful about our “first world problems,” we should give thanks for our blessings and look for ways to show our solidarity with all the people of this beautiful blue planet.
Thought for the Day: What “first world problem” is bugging me today?