For me, the most inspiring story of the Bible is the book of Jonah.  Most people know of this as the story of Jonah and the whale.  (This would be the scene in the trailer of the movie Jonah!)  Ask most people what they remember of the story, and they’ll tell you some variation of “Jonah blah blah blah whale something something 3 days yadda yadda lesson”.  The whole story is a lot more interesting to me.  It goes something like this:

(Disclaimer: I am about to take a lot of liberties with the wording and motivations here, because I’m a Catholic, and we don’t consider this to be a literal historical account.  Think of this as a “re-imagining” of the original inspirational story, based on the parts I remember without going and looking it up again.)

Once upon a time there was a man named Jonah, who was largely uninteresting, except for the fact that he was the first person in history to be named Jonah.  So one day, Jonah is hanging out doing whatever it was people did back in those days (after hunter-gathering, before mowing), when he hears God call out “Jonah!”

Jonah, being the only person named Jonah, assumes it’s him that’s being called and answers, “Yes, Lord”.  God says, “I want you to go to Nineveh.  The people there have decided to be wicked again, and I need you to tell them to knock it off and repent.  How about it?” Continue reading