When the word of the LORD came to Jonah telling him to go and preach at Nineveh he went rather down to Joppa and took passage on a ship bound for Tarshish. The map above of the Mediterranean Sea shows the cities in question. Jonah is told to go East and he went West in the opposite direction to flee the presence of the LORD. The direction is literally from East to West on the map but it is also psychologically true as well. The sun rises in the East and thus the East is the direction of enlightenment. The sun sets in the West and the West is the direction of unconsciousness. Not only does Jonah wish to get away physically but psychically as well. Of course this is not possible.
Back in the 1980's a little known science fiction movie was released entitled:The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. It has since achieved a cult following. The title character a physicist/rock and roll musician had a favorite expression that also achieved a cult following, "Wherever you go there you are." Having a firm grip on the obvious may be the safest way deal with life. We can run, but we can't hide -- not from God -- not even from ourselves. We may have a terminal case of denial but eventually some symptom, ours or some one nearby will serve to remind us that denial is not just a river in Egypt. We like Jonah may sleep the sleep of the profoundly depressed but there is always a captain eventually to wake us to the storm about to swamp the ship. JWS