Husband and I just got back from Cancun. We were celebrating our first anniversary.
I know. It’s not exactly our first anniversary yet. But I grew up in a family that celebrated birthday years, so it’s all relevant. At least we got the month right.
If you knew my mom this would make more sense. Mom is a profound believer in the fact that it’s the strength and the longevity of the celebration that counts, not the specific date. Hence, birthday years. And anniversary months. Apparently.
Where was I?
Oh! Cancun. With Husband. It was an all-inclusive resort so there were all these “themed” restaurants. Mexican. Spanish Tapas. Italian. Japanese Grill. Steak house.
I think the steak house was supposed to be American themed, but I can’t be completely sure. There was one strong clue though that this steak house was trying to capture the heart and essence of American culture and it was this:
A Dolly Parton CD was playing throughout our entire meal. It may have actually been multiple Dolly CD’s. Regardless, we enjoyed steak while Dolly crooned over us.
(I would like to state for the record that the next night at the Japanese grill we listened to Amy Grant. Way to go Mexico.)
The Dolly Parton steak house tale is my favorite story to dramatically tell about our trip. Because Dolly Parton, at an outdoor steak house, next to a pool, in Cancun, just sings with hilarity. I don’t even have to be that dramatic in my telling of the story, it’s ridiculously awesome all on it’s own.
This anecdote is completely irrelevant except for the fact that it is entirely pertinent to this post.
Sometimes it’s the thing that’s just slightly out of place that grabs you. The thing that shows up where you least expect it that grabs you and won’t let you go. The innocuous and mundane among the paramount that tickles your soul in such a way you hold on for dear life.
In the book of Jonah, in Chapter 1, Jonah takes a nap below deck.
And that tiny detail, that piece of the mundane among the paramount, has commanded my attention.
Because. If I’m reading correctly, Jonah is snoozing below deck, while all the other sailors brace themselves against a storm. A terrifying storm, the kind of storm that claims lives and entire ships. A storm sent for Jonah. A storm sent as a result of his disobedience. A storm sent to strike the fear of God in Jonah.
But Jonah’s napping.
And it’s the other guys on deck, the bystanders to Jonah’s disobedience who are seeing their lives flash before their eyes.
The guys face to face with the terror, aren’t the guys that the storm was sent for.
It was definitely used in their lives. But it wasn’t really about them.
The guy it was about, was sleeping.
I’ve been there. I’ve been the person standing face-to-face with horror, contemplating if I will survive the next swell. Sure that I must have done something to deserve this. Because why would I be in the path of destruction if I wasn’t meant to be destroyed?
But, if Jonah has taught me nothing else, do you know what he’s taught me?
Sometimes it’s not about us. Sometimes we’re just standing too close to the person the storm came for. Sometimes the storm we’re riding out is raging for someone else. That person may be asleep below deck and you’re just a bystander the storm that was sent for them.
You might be the one living in fear, while another sleeps like a baby.
Sometimes you have to wait for the other guy to wake up to his mess and throw himself overboard (I mean that figuratively, unless of course he’s Jonah).
Sometimes you just have to wait it out.
Hold on tight.
Adjust your sails.
Get rid of what’s unnecessary.
Take a new grip.
Settle into the fact that sometimes the storms in our lives aren’t about us at all, and hold on.