There was this Captain of a ship which set sail from a port to another somewhere in the Middle East. On the way, a storm brewed and all the passengers, the crew and the Captain realised that their journey was in jeopardy and escaping with their Lives became their ONLY PRIORITY. Bad Times don’t support our pet theories and ideologies, consequently, the Captain of the ship issued an edict as follows:
So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
The Shipmaster was the Captain of the ship proceeding to Tarshish from Joppa and the sleeper was Jonah, a Jewish Prophet, running away from the instructions of his God to proceed to Nineveh.
The Captain says: O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. The Captain’s personal beliefs notwithstanding chides the sleeping Jonah to call upon HIS GOD and doesn’t even ask the sleeping Jonah to identify his religion or the name of the God he worshipped.
The prayers sought was for the storm to subside but the answer came from Jonah, who felt penitent and told the Captain to throw him overboard. Sure enough the crew, Captain and the passengers threw Jonah out and sure enough the storm abated.
Well it is not uncommon to say that God had plans, rather other set of plans to deal with the errant Jonah. Doctrinally that ‘plan of God’ is odious to my ears and thought. God is God and Time is in His hands. God could do anything, so why plan? Plan is a forethought of a
possible future. When it is God who creates ‘future’, where would be the necessity of a Plan? Plan is an anthropomorphic idea laden with the deficiencies of human understanding. Why ascribe that to God?
God send a fish which swallows Jonah and he his transported to another location and he finally lands up in Nineveh.
The point of this blog is that, when absolute necessity arises in one’s life one may surrender to the will of God, whom he or she believes. But as a Captain of a ship, having the responsibility of the ship, the goods in the ship and the human lives involved it is the DUTY OF THE CAPTAIN not to ascertain the names of the gods those humans worship but to exhort every human in his ship to pray to HIS OWN GOD. That full-throated participative prayer is what a Captain is to exhort and hope for a relief.
The prayer was not answered in the way it was imagined. Till Jonah was offloaded, the storm did not subside. The proposal itself came from the person who was to suffer the consequences of his own proposal. That is how the prayers of those who called their own God’s was answered.
My best example for Secularism is the Captain of that ship caught in the storm with Jonah.
Getting human participation retaining their own beliefs is more important than proselytising humans in distress or cataloguing them during distress.
Like that Captain, leaders ought to shed the divisive distinguishing mapping of people and exhort them to give their best.