NASSCO was my whale

I wanted something to write about, so I started reading through the journal I mentioned before. Here is another entry from Monday, January 23, 2006:

I read Jonah this morning. I’ve thought of the shipyard as my Jonah’s whale, so I thought I would read about Jonah. I wanted to refresh my memory of his story. One thing caught my eye. Jonah 1:17-2:1, reads:

“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish,”

Did Jonah really wait 3 days and nights before he prayed to God? If I were swallowed by a whale, surely I would call to the Lord immediately. Wouldn’t I?

I worked in the shipyard for months before turning to God. From the start, I met Christians in the training classes. I knew Christians on crews I worked with. I talked the talk — to the Christians. I never fell into the other crowd. I tried to resist their language, and I didn’t participate in their humor. But I didn’t speak up, and I was never a witness. Was I running from God? I don’t know.

My experience doesn’t parallel Jonah’s as closely as I had thought. But we both waited before turning to God, even after finding ourselves in over our heads. And it was probably the most impacting event of our lives.

I eventually turned around. I brought my Bible to work, and openly read it during lunch. I would share pieces about my faith as people would ask, but I was never outgoing or forthcoming with it. I blamed my shy personality. I still struggle with this.

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