Move Over, Jonah

Today I'm feeling a lot like Jonah when the plant that God had caused to grow to give him shade suddenly withered and died. Jonah got so upset that he also prayed to die. Here's the dialogue that followed. But God said to Jonah, "Do you do well to be angry for the plant?" And he said, "Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die." And the Lord said, "You pity the plan, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Ninevah, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?"
So, why am I feeling like Jonah? Today I caught myself praying for God to help me find a misplaced Bible and a power cord for my Kindle. I suddenly realized that I had not prayed for the situation in Somalia, or Egypt, or Afghanistan, and yet I was upset and selfishly praying for God to help me find these "lost" items. Just last evening I had voiced concern that the people at church had not placed names of unsaved acquaintances on a poster so we could pray for them, and now here I was more concerned for items that will surely turn up, exactly where I left them, than for the lost in my community and the world.
I have challenged the people to whom I preach each week to make their focus this year to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Very easy to say, but very hard to do especially when we've (I've) become so self-absorbed that we're more concerned for misplaced items than for lost people. I'm not proud of this. I'm asking God to use every thought of my lost items as a reminder to pray about those things that are most important on His agenda. Perhaps this will help me get out of the "Jonah Syndrome."

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