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I was sitting on an airplane with some colleagues earlier today, and I noticed how one of them was using an iDevice to help look up information on another iDevice. One device for each hand; once touch screen for each thumb….

I looked across the aisle at another colleague, and he too was working just the same way. It got me to thinking: “how did we get anything done before our plethora of devices?”. Maybe, more appropriately, “how do we get things done today, despite our plethora of devices?”. Multi-tasking 101, anyone?

I like a good iDevice as much as the next guy. I’m writing on one now, and near Cupertino, California (read, Apple Mecca) of all places.

Opposable thumbs helped Eve pick up the first Apple long before Steve Jobs came onto the scene with his Compubox in the 1970’s, and we’ve been paying for it ever since.

So what’s my point here? As Little Frau might say, put down your device and live life. Engage. Love on your cat. Odds are, it does not care what you can do with your phone, so long as you can open a can…

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But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord…

Ever see those Southwest Airlines commercials? Someone does something really stupid or embarrassing, and suddenly the world is staring at them. Then you here the trademark “ding” that signifies that it’s time to fasten the seatbelt, because the plane’s about to leave.

We talked about Jonah in Bible class on Sunday a few weeks back. What a mystery this guy was.

Jonah wanted to get away, but he didn’t have a “Friends Fly Free” pass, so he took a boat, and missed the boat, all at the same time. Then the real turbulence started. You see, there was this storm…

 Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.”

How many of the storms in our life are all our fault? How many times do we try to run away from them, and as they get worse, we “go below” and try to sleep thru them, as if they might just go away.

After playing the lead role in a big fish’s three day bout with indigestion, you think maybe Jonah has learned his lesson. “Ding”. Nope. Wanna get away?

Jonah 4: (Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Mercy): This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”   The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”

Suffice to say, the LORD did not destroy Ninevah, and Jonah learned a painful object lesson in redemption, forgiveness, and God’s mercy. Remember that next time you mess up, or someone else messes up as it relates to you.

You probably won’t hear the “Ding”….

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