Observing the Signs on the Road of Life
Ever drive down the road and observe road signs which do not make much sense? Like the sign which overstates the obvious. It reads “Caution: Water on Road During Rain.” Another sign warned, “Speed Bumps Ahead” then a rectangle sign beneath read: “when children are present”. This makes you wonder what the speed bumps are made of. There is hope for those of us who over weight and suffering Dunlap Disease, that is, our stomach has done lapped over our belts. This sign reads: “Caution: Heavy Pedestrian Traffic”
Reading road signs are essential for those desiring to travel in safety. How many wasted miles, foolish injuries, and senseless deaths could be avoided if only people read signs posted along the road? For those of us traveling down the road of life, God must think the same thing. Through His prophet Jeremiah God warns, “Set up signposts, Make landmarks; Set your heart toward the highway, The way in which you went. Turn back” (Jer. 31:21-22a). There are many signs on the road of life which are similar to the signs a traveler comes across on the high ways.
In John 14 Jesus is preparing his followers for His approaching death and he tells them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Salvation is only through Jesus. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This means not all religions are the same. The god of the Muslims, Allah, is not the same as the God of the Bible. Have you ever been to Fuddruckers? It is a hamburger place that advertises you can make your hamburger over hundreds of different ways with all of Fuddrucker’s burger toppings. That’s the way we like things…with options so we can “Have it our Way” like the Burger King
Sometimes it is not easy to know where one is to enter safely. “Enter” signs help facilitate safe travel. Jesus tells us were we can safely enter to secure eternal life as one’s destiny. He said, “enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14),
Do Not Enter
“Enter” signs can be very beneficial. Yet “Do Not Enter” signs bring just as much assistance to the driver. Often mankind only thinks they know the way they should go. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). “Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on” (Prov. 4:14-15).
Have you ever come to a four way stop and there is one driver who does not want to stop? Stopping and taking one’s turn to go is beneficial to all drivers. While traveling on life’s highway, all need to “put on the brakes.” Once one obeys the Gospel they must stop sinning.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). When Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery. “Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’ (John 8:11).
Does anyone know what this highway sign means? When some drivers see the sign “Merge” or “Yield” it becomes a battle of wills. More than once while approaching a “Yield” sign, I have had to come to a complete stop due to on coming traffic. Unfortunately the driver behind me was not paying attention and plowed their car into the back of mine. When the police arrived the driver explain that I came to a complete stop at the sign. The officer explained, “Sometimes a “Yield” sign means “stop.” When God warns us to yield, do we yield to God or resist and charge forward.
The Psalmist had an attitude of one willing to yield their heart to God’s will. “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Jesus demonstrated His submission to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night in which we was betrayed. Jesus “…fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39). Not only are Christians are to submit to God but to be “submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21). “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
With all the road work and obstacles like giant smart car swallowing pot holes. In life one needs to proceed with caution. “The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident” (Prov. 14:15-16).
Do Not Pass
Not only are there signs to read which are posted on the sides of the road, there are lines and marks to read on the road itself. On a highway yellow dashes can tell the driver it is safe to pass. A double solid yellow line informs the driver not to pass as it is unsafe. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan we learn there are times when it is wrong to pass by. Jesus said, “a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side’” (Luke 10:30-31).
Watch for Children
One of the most tragic stories I ever heard from a friend was that he was traveling though a small town and a child darted out between two parked cars. He hit and killed the child. This is why in certain stretches of road the signs telling travelers to “Watch for Children”. Jesus warned concerning God’s children by using small children as an example. “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:2-6).
No U Turns
Years ago my wife Beverley was about to make a u-turn. All the sudden she hears a voice authoritatively warning: “Mam, you cannot make a u-turn at this intersection,” She did not know where the voice was coming from. Was it from God? No it was from the police cruiser behind her in the next line over. Finally she notices the police car and the sign: “No U Turns.” Sometimes God does speak up and demands us not to turn back. Jesus said to a man who wanted to be a disciple, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Christians are warned not to turn back into sin. Peter wrote, “for if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2 Peter 2:20-21).
Rest Area Ahead
Weary travelers have often found great relief in seeing a sign telling them: “Rest Area Ahead.” Jesus offers us rest. He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). One day when the our travels through life are over we will come to rest with God in Heaven.
– Daniel R. Vess