Huge windows covering two-thirds of each wall gave me a panoramic view of the scenery outside as I ate lunch in the Japanese restaurant. The scene was full of life – people moving here and there, mountains, a school yard, industry, a gas station – most of which I wasn’t noticing because I was eating with a dear friend, my granddaughter and my great granddaughter.
But then, out of the corner of my eye, something caught my attention. Was that what I thought it was, a stop sign moving down the road? A small hill blocked out all but the sign itself. The sign appeared to float toward us. I blinked my eyes and it was still there. I asked the other girls at the table, “Is that a stop sign?” Just about then the Department of Transportation utility truck carrying the sign high and proud above its cab moved into the picture and everything was explained.
This incident reminded me of another moving stop sign from years ago. My Daddy, an Irishman who loved his ale, had stopped at the corner bar after work. As he headed home, he dead centered a stop sign, leaving the indentation of the metal post from the grill to the window. The next day Daddy told Larry (later to become my husband), “Larry, I don’t know what happened. That stop sign just jumped out and hit me.”
What might God be telling me through these two stories? What is the function of a stop sign? A stop sign says to me, “This is as far as you can go without stopping to assess the road ahead.” A stop sign presents a choice – be lawful and come to a complete stop (obedience), don’t stop at all and suffer the consequences (disrespect for the law, myself and others), or pretend I’m going to stop and then roll through the stop sign at the last second (hypocrisy, trying to fool myself and others).
A moving stop sign is of no use at all. It brings confusion. Child psychologists say that it is important for children to know their boundaries. Though they may try to push the limits, when the limits are enforced it gives children a sense of comfort and security. In the adult world, pushing our boundaries farther out, one bad decision at a time, soon brings disorder and destruction similar to a wreck caused from running a stop sign. Can you imagine the chaos in a world with no stop signs?
Thankfully, God has placed the Holy Spirit within me to whisper warnings to me when I get close to stepping over the line. Just as if I were pulling up to a stop sign, I have choices. Obedience is always the right choice and brings me joy. I don’t always make the right choice, but I know what my choices are. When the options seem constricting, Holy Spirit nudges me again with the truth that God has my best interest at heart and His way is always the best way.
Look for the joy in your world today-