Street Signs

Within the past week, I have driven back and forth to the Denver airport almost every other day (friends and family coming in and going home). For the most part, it’s a very nice trip, since I take the old country highway rather than Interstate 25. Still, it’s over an hour each way, and I’ve still not fully recovered my equilibrium from all the packing, moving, and the ongoing, never-ending unpacking.

My point is, I’m a bit weary. So, on one of my trips the other day, I found myself misreading street signs a couple of times (no, I was not falling asleep, and I promise, we were all safe).

First, as I drove by a lovely hill, the street bordered by evergreens, I thought the street sign read “Rejection Way.” I blinked and looked again, and saw that what I’d seen as “Rejection” was actually the word “Reflection.”

Later, I passed a street that led down, away from the road I was on, into a curvy little neighborhood with a pond. I was quite confused when I read the sign as “Wrong Way.” But as I got closer, I saw that the name was “Winding Way.”

One of the other things I do when I’m weary, besides midread things, is over-think things. So I got all analogous on myself and started to think about how I tend to misread “signs” in my own life.

I squint very closely at my circumstances and try my best to read them.  I’m always sure there’s a message in there from God and if I look hard enough, I should be able to decipher it.  But I’m learning that His ways truly are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.  Even when things appear to be at their darkest–that I’m going the wrong way, or headed toward rejection and failure–He is there.  He may not change my circumstances, but He can (and does) change my perspective when I take my eyes off of the signs for a moment, blink, and look instead at Him.

Practically speaking, when I am bogged down and distressed by my circumstances, I know it’s time to stop focusing on them (blink!), and focus instead on obedience.  Sometimes that means doing something huge (like moving away from our home of 18 years).  Sometimes that means doing all the small things, like tending to the needs of my family, with a greater measure of gratitude and humility.

And I have to always be open to the possibility that my vision won’t ever clear completely–that I won’t be able to read the signs.  But that’s all right, because, in truth, I’m not the One that’s driving anyway.

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