Time Out

Submitted by Melanie Ayers

 

Theme: Obedience to God
Object: None
Scripture: Jonah 2

Good morning. I want to start by asking everyone a question and I want you all to be very honest and tell the truth – put your hand up if you are a perfect child. If you never get into trouble, if you’ve never done anything wrong, if you’ve never disobeyed Mom or Dad – put your hand up.

No one? Not one of you huh? Well, thank you for your honesty. Its just human nature isn’t it to sometimes do something wrong. None of us are perfect are we? Let me ask all the adults shall I – are any of you perfect? See, adults aren’t perfect either. So if you’re not perfect, I’m sure that means you’ve probably been in trouble a few times haven’t you. Maybe you even had to do something we call ‘time out’ right. Have any of you been put in ‘time out’? Maybe you have to sit on a special chair ‘the naughty chair’ or the bottom step of the stairs. Maybe you even have to go to your room. Do any of you have to do that sometimes?

Those of you who were here last week might remember that I told you a story about a man named Jonah who disobeyed God and didn’t do what God asked him to. Does anyone remember what happened to him? That’s right. Jonah was swallowed up by a big fish and was stuck inside that fish for three whole days. Did you ever consider that God might have been putting Jonah in ‘time out’?

The reason we get put into ‘time out’ when we don’t behave properly or we’re in trouble for doing something wrong, is so that we have time to really think about what we did. Sometimes Mom or dad or maybe even your teacher might say ‘You need to think about what you just did’ or perhaps they’ll say ‘You need to think about how sorry you are’. And that’s why they send us off to ‘time out’ so that we have TIME to think about the way we behaved.

Now, as I said before, your ‘time out’ might be on a chair, or a step or a carpet or even perhaps in the corner, and you probably only have to spend two or three minutes there, maybe a few more. But Jonah upset God so much by disobeying him that he had to spend three whole days inside the tummy of that big fish. I’m sure it was very nasty in there. But Jonah didn’t just sit inside that fish doing nothing. He took the time to think about what he had done. And he decided to pray to God. He thanked God for all he had done for him, and for saving him when he was drowning and he praised God.

I don’t think any of you will end up inside the belly of a big fish for three days to do ‘time out’ but if you end up on the ‘naughty chair’ or get sent to your room for a few minutes to think about what you did, I want you to use that time wisely. Do what Jonah did. Talk to God! Say your prayers. Tell him how thankful you are for everything he does for you and ask him to help you behave better next time.

Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for loving us and caring for us so much. Help us to take ‘time out’ of our day to remember you and all that you do for us. In your name we pray. Amen