He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea! Then the sea will become calm around you. I know it’s my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
I was taught Jonah was possibly the only successful prophet. He told the people to turn from their ways, and they turned from their ways. True, they were the enemy of the Israelites. True, Jonah was more invested in the people being destroyed in a righteous fire. Eventually, he did what he was told, and the outcome was good. (Side note: I personally believe the sign of a successful prophet is telling God's wishes. Period. It is then up to the people to decide if they want to listen to the prophet.)
Congregants and ministers alike struggle with what to take away from Jonah. He fought God. He didn't really give his best once he consented. What is there to learn from this guy?
Giving up. He was stellar at it. I'm not talking about giving up where God wants you to hang on. You know, when God calls you to a Nineveh, and you book it to Tarshish instead. I'm talking about giving up when it's best for everyone else. Giving up when it might hurt you. That's what Jonah was good at.
Sometimes, we don't know when to let go. We are not comfortable with uncertainty, and when God is calling us to it, we tend to hang on a little tighter. The ship might go down, but darn it, we hung on for as long as we could.
Having the foresight, trust, and humility to know when to let go and jump into the unknown is a spiritual practice. We should embrace it when it comes upon us.