Stop.  Yield.  Caution.  When I think about signs, I think of traffic signs, big and bright, mounted on posts, reflective and tough to miss.

I’m hesitant to say that God doesn’t send signs but if He does, I routinely miss them as I meander through life.  I suspect that these signs are probably there, but, sans flashing lights and blaring horns, I blunder past.

If this wasn’t the case, my own life experiences would be enough to keep me from making certain mistakes.  Unfortunately, I missed many of the lessons/signs in my own childhood.  Not wanting me to miss the point altogether, God sends less subtle messages in the form of strong, slightly stubborn people. Signs are rooted to the spot.  People dial the phone.  They refuse to back down when I’m obstinate.

Recently, I got my feelings hurt by a good friend.  He didn’t mean to do it but I came out of the encounter in a sullen pout.  Given how outgoing I am, people tend to notice when I pout.

Fortunately, God decided that I needed a customized sign – stubborn and with a phone.  This friend gave me until Friday to cool off and then he called.  I was expecting a call and don’t have caller ID so I picked up.  “Yes, I’m mad.  Yes, it is something you said.  No, I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll suck it up and get over it.”

This was the approach my mother took although she tended to be more subtle.  She would never tell you when you hurt her feelings or made her mad.  After all, it would be self-centered and unkind.  She’d get over it.  Wouldn’t she?

In my personal experience, no.  She would let one thing after another go and then BAM she’d explode over something inconsequential.  She did this time and time again, yet I had set myself on this same path.

Needed: One Sign.  God sent a bull-headed friend who apparently has unlimited minutes.  I refused to tell him what was wrong so he waited.  And he waited.  It isn’t like he was doing absolutely nothing. From the background noises he let the dogs out and then let them back in again.  But he did manage to out wait me.  I told him what he’d said.

Of course, he hadn’t meant to hurt my feelings.  On a good day, I’d have known that.  But I ignored all those big, bright signs and headed down a road into the bad part of town.  Until God sent me a sign with a cell phone.  A sign that refused to wait for me to get over it.

Thankfully.  Because I’d hate to think about where I’d have ended up otherwise.