Monday, March 27, 2017

Lent: Sign

Thirty years ago, someone near where I grew up thought it would be funny to remove one of these from an intersection. A few days later, without the sign around, a driver sailed into the intersection and was killed. The story I recall was that the culprit ultimately was charged with homicide.

Signs can be helpful for the guidance they give, but only when they tell us things we don't know. I'm sure we've all laughed at pictures of  signs with useless advisories like "Beware Jumping Gay Walrus" or "Caution: Sign Has Sharp Edges."

I've known a few people who look for special signs from God to tell them what to do. Experience has taught me that often when we do this, either we're looking for a way to avoid responsibility for making a decisions, or we're looking for a way to claim a divine seal of approval on a decision we've already made.

I'm not a fan of looking for signs from God. Actual direct signs from God should be  pretty spectacular, hard to ignore, and in the Bible at least they're for the really dense among us who don't understand what should be plainly obvious: Feed the hungry, welcome the immigrant, provide sanctuary and shelter to those who need it, and spend what you have to advance those who lack it.

Who needs a sign for that?

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