Then you hear it on your way home. You begin to sing along a bit, bobbing your head to the beat.
Next thing you know you can’t take a drive without hearing the song. Watching tv you hear it on every commercial and movie trailer.
Soon enough even the out of touch middle-aged adults in your life can teach you the dance moves to the song. You frantically spin the radio dial anytime you hear the first chord from the song. You carry a pair of earplugs with you at all times. You start to consider soundproofing your house so you don’t hear the song as someone drives down your street.
What was once an innocent earworm has now infected your brain. By the end of August you’re locked in a steel chamber underneath your house blocked off from all society just to escape the song of the summer.
With a measure drastic enough it could be possible to escape the song of the summer.
Sometimes we think God is just like a hit song – escapable with enough effort. Sometimes we think like Jonah.
In one of the most devastating passages in the entire Bible, Jonah hears the word of the Lord. Instead of listening to God’s call, instead “he got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence” (Jonah 1:3).
Read that again: Jonah tried to escape the presence of God. Jonah tried to hide from the creator of the universe, the overseer of all, the one who breathed life into the world and whose presence literally inhabits every inch of it.
You know the rest of the story. Jonah soon learned escaping God was impossible.
It’s easy to laugh at his hubris, thinking if he could run fast or far enough he could escape God. But is Jonah really doing anything we haven’t done a million times?
God’s voice comes calling whether we’re ready for it or not. We try to pretend we don’t hear it, or He couldn’t possibly be talking to us, or He couldn’t possibly want us to do that.
So maybe we turn the music up. We put another tv show on. We grab another red velvet cupcake. We click on another webpage. All attempts to escape the presence of God.
You can save yourself all the running. Let God’s song, the song of your salvation, be your song of the summer. Surrender yourself to the power of His words for you. Acknowledge what Jonah did in his prayer just a few days after trying to run:
Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love, but as for me, I will sacrifice to You with a voice of thanksgiving. (Jonah 2:8)
What are you running from today?