“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ~Lao Tzu (Quote source here.)
In the past several years I’ve traveled thousands of miles by car. At the beginning of my road trips in May 2012, they were job related as I was still searching for that very elusive job that has never shown up. However, as I mentioned in my previously blog post, “Traveling Light,” it became much more than just a never-ending search for a nonexistent job (apparently, since I never found it). I discovered a part of America I was never able to take a really good look at during all of the years I worked, and it’s definitely been worth both the miles and the trips.
I ran into a very interesting article based on Psalm 32:8 which states, “I [God] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” The article is titled, “9 Road Signs of the Christian Journey,” by David Fitch, senior pastor of River Ridge Neighborhood Church. Here is what he had to say about these 9 road signs:
It’s 100 AD and you’re driving your chariot down a Roman road. You come to a crossroad and see a sign that tells you to stop to wait for passing traffic. Amazingly, even in Roman times, traffic signs were useful and very much a part of the culture of the time.
Fast forward to the 21st century when a modern the highway is decorated with green interstate signs, orange construction signs and even electronic signs that tell you what’s ahead. Signs are such a common part of the American roadway infrastructure that we may take them for granted. But it all started in the Roman Empire.
The ancient Romans used tall columns called “milestones” to relay information to travelers on its roads. They indicated how far away Rome was, and gave travelers directional information, and were some of the earliest road signs in the Western world.
In the very near future, it’s likely we’ll begin to see more digital road signs. The advantage of these is that through a wireless connection, the information provided on the sign could be updated automatically and instantly from a central location.
A little further down the road of the future we might use “augmented reality” devices, such as Google Glass, to provide real time maps, messages, and traffic alerts. Imagine having instant information about a crash that happened just moments ago on the road up ahead so you could slow down or take an alternate route.
9 Road Signs Of The Christian Journey
God has placed road signs along the Christian journey to give us direction, to keep us safe, to warn us, and to keep us on the right path until we reach heaven.
Sign #1 – Stop
One of my least favorite signs is the Stop sign. It means that I have to stop my progress and sit motionless. It is inconvenient but it also keeps me safe. It protects me from moving into a potentially dangerous situation.
Jesus often commands us to “stop” moving ahead and think about what we are doing. A Stop sign from God is an opportunity to think about what we are doing and consider the consequences.
John 5:14: “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
John 6:43: “Stop grumbling among yourselves.”
John 7:24: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
John 20:27: “Stop doubting and believe.”
Sign #2 – Yield Right of Way
When driving, the Yield sign means that we must give priority to another person. This bothers us because we all feel that we are more important than anyone else. But God calls us to give priority to Him and to humble ourselves to serve others.
James 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Hebrews 13:17: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority.”
Sign #3 – No U Turn
U-turns can be helpful when we are driving and suddenly realize that we are heading in the wrong direction. But Christians can be tempted to get off the right road and return to the life they left behind. God is pleased when we follow Him by faith and do not give it to doubts. Once we have committed ourselves to God there should be no turning back to our old way of life.
Hebrews 10:38: “And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
Luke 9:62: Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Philippians 3:13: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…”
Sign #4 – Wrong Way
Freeway on-ramps and one-way streets have large red signs that warn drivers that they are heading for danger if they keep driving in the wrong direction. Even though the road seems safe and the way is open, it will lead to a disastrous accident God’s Word also warns us when we go the right direction, to keep us from harm and danger. We are wise when we obey His warning signs and keep out of a sinful path.
Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
Psalm 119:104: “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.”
Proverbs 4:14: “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.”
Sign #5 – Detour
A Detour Road Sign can be the difference between being late to a meeting and being on time. It means that there is road construction or an accident on the road that we intended to take and now we have to find an alternate route.
God often puts a Detour sign on our path. It may be because we are on the wrong road. It might be that God has something different in mind for us than what we had decided to do.
God’s Detour might be a change in career, a change in schools, a delay in the timing of when you expected to start a family, or a sudden illness that puts you on the sidelines. Take courage, God knows what He is doing and His plans are always best for you in the final outcome.
Proverbs 16:9: “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
Jeremiah 10:23: “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.”
Acts 16:7: “When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”
Sign #6 – Road Construction
I enjoy newly constructed roads. They are smooth, there are no potholes, the paving is clean and the lane markers are distinct. But I just don’t like the process of road construction. It seems like it takes CalTrans forever to bulldoze the roadbed, lay the gravel, and pave the road. There are clouds of dust, ruts, and lane changes that slow my drive time.
God is at work in our lives also and the process is messy and slow. We are “under construction” for most of our lives and it seems that it will take forever. Will I ever be the person that God has in mind?
Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 2:13: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Sign #7 – Speed Limit
There is a four lane divided road that I drive every day on my way to the church office. It is rarely crowded with traffic and it is feels like 50 miles per hour is appropriate. However, I often see drivers getting tickets from police officers for driving 45-50 miles per hour. They might complain to the officer that their speed was not excessive and seemed appropriate. Why do they get cited? Because there are two schools along this road and there is a speed limit of 35 miles an hour!
In a similar way, God often places speed limits on His people. Often for no apparent reason, God will command us to “slow down”. But God has a purpose in mind for the delay, that we might not be able to see. Be patient. Trust the plan of God when He asks you to slow down and wait.
Psalm 27:14: “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Sign # 8 – No Parking
It doesn’t matter if it’s the grocery store, the airport, or an arena, I can never find a parking spot in a convenient place. If by a miracle I do see an empty space and pull into it, I usually see a sign that says, “No Parking” or “Reserved for the Employee of the Month.” When I want to stop and park, I am obligated to keep going.
The same can be true in the Christian life. There are times when we want to stop and park, when God intends for us to keep moving, to get busy, and to make progress. Keep moving!
Proverbs 6:10-11: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”
Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
1 Corinthians 9:24: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
Sign #9 – Exit
No matter how long our road trip takes, there eventually comes the sign that we have been waiting for–“Exit.” We feel relief that our journey is over, we have reached our planned destination, and that we can enjoy times of relaxation and refreshment.
One day your earthly journey will be over and God will call you to exit this life. For believers this is not a dreadful thing but a relief. Our long time away is over and we arrive safely at home.
2 Peter 1:13-14: “I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.”
2 Timothy 4:6-7: “the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Watch The Signs
The next time you are driving, pay attention to the road signs. Could God use a simple road sign to give you direction for your journey through life? (Quote source here.)
Isn’t that a great article? I loved finding it as it gives us new meaning when we see these signs along the roadways. And what better way to end this blog post then with these three sign…
Stop . . .
Yield Right of Way . . .
Exit . . .
YouTube Video: “Traveling Light” by Joel Hanson & Sara Groves: