Signs

When faced with choices and decisions, I often pray and ask for some kind of “sign” to guide my actions.  A bolt of lightning or a burning bush would be obvious, but often I don’t see the signs…or I look in my rear-view mirror only to find that I missed them and there’s no U-turn opportunity in sight.

Sometimes, signs are just plain confusing.  If I don’t know where I’ve been or where I’m going, how do I know where I’m at right now?  That’s how I felt when I spotted this sign at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta:

Um...I think I'll just stand right here.
Um…I think I’ll just stand right here.

Other times, the context of the sign can provide unexpected humor.  This bait car sign tickled my funny bone because of where it was located:  the parking lot of a Cabela’s store.  Cabela’s sells all things outdoor:  camping and hunting gear – and of course, fishing bait 🙂

Who said law enforcement didn't have a sense of humor?
Who said law enforcement didn’t have a sense of humor?

And then there are the signs that I don’t know quite how to process.  Well, I won’t explain this one…I’d like to see what YOU make of it:

Sorry...I can't come up with an appropriate caption...
Sorry…I can’t come up with an appropriate caption…

When all the sign hunting gets to be too much, I close my eyes and find peace within.  I wait for a source of inspiration to nudge my soul in the direction I need to head.

01-27 Yield

Sometimes, signs are just something to read, not to live by.  It’s comforting to know that since the beginning of time, people have looked for ‘signs’.  It’s also reassuring to know that I’m not any blinder than they were 😀

Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me. (Psalm 86:17)

“Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” (Mark 13:4)

Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” (John 2:18)

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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45 thoughts on “Signs

  1. aapatawaran January 27, 2013 / 2:38 AM

    THE MIRACLE OF THE YELLOW FLOWERS

    A magazine once offered me the moon and the stars but in my job then as lifestyle editor of a newspaper, I was in heaven. So for the first time in my life — I was mostly and still is a non-practicing Catholic, though I now try to pray the rosary daily as my meditation — I prayed the novena to St. Therese. I asked for white flowers should I accept the job or yellow flowers should I decline the offer. Finally I got a call from the magazine, urging me to make a decision. I was driving when I received the call. As I hung up, I prayed and asked for intervention. Right there and then, on the busy street under a city train platform in the middle of the city in old Manila, a yellow flower fell on my windshield. I opened the window and tried to collect it but the wind carried it away.

    I didn’t think I should make a decision based on such a “coincidence,” so I wrote a letter to my boss and very gently asked if all of my staff could have a raise or a promotion, whichever it was they deserved. I wrote though that I had every power to make a living hell out of their day to day but no power whatsoever to improve their lives. A “no” would have made me jump to the moon and the stars, but my boss said “Yes” without reservations.

    That is the more practical sign, right? But I wasn’t happy enough. I thought I asked for everybody else but what about me? So I took my boss to dinner and told her the complete story and candidly confessed that I thought it would be stupid of me not to jump at this opportunity.

    She said she was going to discuss this with the higher-ups. The next day, before driving to work where news awaited me, I dropped by a church, my first visit in many years, maybe a decade. My intention was to say thanks no matter what awaited me in the office. As I walked up the steps into the church, there was a wedding about to happen, and the entire female entourage, probably on standby for the arrival of the bride, had bouquets of yellow flowers in their hands. I knelt before the altar and prayed, “Dear God, I’m sorry I don’t know how to heed your messages. I am not a well-practiced Christian.”

    Later, at the office, my boss had a note for me. She said she would be the last one to stop me, but as a last appeal, she wanted me to remember how happy I was or how happy I could be where I was. Higher management couldn’t match the offer I was being given, but offered to give me half of it that year and the other half the following year. I thought I should factor in the price and the cost of happiness, though it is priceless.

    Needless to say, the moonlit and starlit night soon turned to day and I decided to bask in the sunshine.

    Sorry for the long story. Thank you for inspiring me to remember the role of divine signs in my life. [On hindsight, I hope you don’t mind if I post this entire comment of mine on my blog].

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 10:50 PM

      I replied to your story in the post on your blog. I absolutely don’t mind if you share the story with your readers – it is an awesome one. It’s a great testament of faith in the face of uncertainty. That yellow flower was a sign…but the funny thing about signs is that we tend to make excuses or rationalize why it may not be sign, rather than walking forward in faith.

  2. deanabo January 27, 2013 / 6:32 AM

    I saw a sign once that advertised a steak dinner, seafood, fishing lure’s and crickets. I choose not to eat there. Great post.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 10:52 PM

      Hahaha! I think I’d pass on the restaurant, too, Deanabo. They probably served field mouse appetizers 🙂

      • deanabo January 28, 2013 / 4:18 AM

        That would not surprise me. Lol

  3. pattyabr January 27, 2013 / 8:05 AM

    I also look for signs when lost A week ago I was finding pennies everywhere I think it was a sign to think of my mom or she was thinking of me She was from Springfield IL and loved Lincoln
    My mom is getting hospice care now and I am trying to sort out my feelings. Nice post have a blessed Sunday

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 10:55 PM

      Too bad she didn’t love Ben Franklin 🙂

      Seriously though, I think it’s cool how you’re finding those pennies. (Penny for your thoughts?) I’m sorry to hear your mom is getting hospice care, as it is such a difficult time. When my grandma went through it a couple years ago, I was so grateful they were there to help keep her comfortable…but was so sad because that’s all they could do.

      You’ll be in my prayers, Patty. I hope you have a good week!

  4. nrhatch January 27, 2013 / 8:31 AM

    Signs can be confusing, humorous, or . . . . in the case of that bull . . . perplexing. :mrgreen:

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 10:59 PM

      True enough, Nancy! Upon closer inspection, it appears that there is a steak restaurant and a cabaret in the same strip mall (no pun intended…why are shopping plazas called ‘strip malls’ anyway?!)

  5. suzicate January 27, 2013 / 8:35 AM

    I look for signs, too. And sometimes I misread them….but things usually work out anyway.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:00 PM

      You’re right, Suzicate. We often get several opportunities to make our path “right”. I like to think of it as taking the scenic route 🙂

  6. newwhitebear January 27, 2013 / 8:42 AM

    The signs are a babele. Wonderful and meaningful images.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:01 PM

      Thank you, Newwhitebear. I appreciate you taking time to read and share your comment 🙂

  7. Debbie January 27, 2013 / 9:18 AM

    It’s tempting to look for signs, but I’m not sure we should. Didn’t Jesus tell His followers, No sign will be given them (Matt. 12:39)?
    Interesting bull atop the “Adult Cabaret” sign. Perhaps the joint used to be a steakhouse?!

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:20 PM

      I read this scripture and the verse before it and I take it to mean we should have faith in Jesus and not look for a miracle to prove He is who He says He is. (It is tempting to want concrete ‘proof’ just to make sure, though :))

      The signs I had in mind with this post are the indications that I am following what God intended me to. Am I making the ‘right’ decision based on His direction? Basically looking for a sign as to what His direction is.

      I’m glad you stopped by and shared your thoughtful comment, Debbie. It got me thinking on this again…which is pretty impressive because my brain has functioned well all day!

  8. agjorgenson January 27, 2013 / 10:43 AM

    Thanks Janna! Sometimes it seems that we too are signs. So, in addition to prayer for a sign, it sometimes seems we need to pray to be a sign. But what will our message be? I guess that will be up to the One who makes the signs!

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:22 PM

      Good though, Ajorgenson! It’s always exciting when what seems like a coincidental occurrence happens, but the dawning begins that perhaps it was more intentional than we gave it credit for.

  9. barbara January 27, 2013 / 11:14 AM

    love this post, Janna. 🙂 “There wll be signs . . . ”
    And, btw – today is my birthday and hubbymoose drew your name from the bag. I will be sending you a surprise this week if you will email your mailing address to me. 🙂 THANKS for joining my fun. prplmoose@kenaiwriter.net

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:24 PM

      Thanks for checking out a non-Trifecta post, Barbara!

      Seriously, I actually won something? How fun! But wait a sec…I thought birthday honorees were supposed to receive gifts, not give them?

  10. pattisj January 27, 2013 / 1:54 PM

    I love those signs like you found at the balloon fiesta. The ‘bait car’ is cool, too. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of those to post where you park as a deterrent to car thieves?
    When we ask for a sign, maybe we should also request eyes to see or ears to hear it. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:30 PM

      Hmmm….maybe that could be an entrepreneurial venture…portable Bait Car signs 🙂

      I thought that balloon fiesta sign was so cool! Confusing, especially with the KM distances, but still fun.

      Good point about asked for eyes and ears to receive the message. Why didn’t I think of that, Patti? 🙂

  11. coyotero2112 January 27, 2013 / 3:38 PM

    A philosopher friend of mine told me that all prognosticators were full of it…I might as well ask a question agout life, or whatever, then get my answer from the next bumper-sticker I saw. I was stressing over the direction of a piece of writing. I asked the world whether to do “this,” or to do “that.” The next bumper-sticker I saw said:
    PLAY AN ACCORDIAN – GO TO JAIL. IT’S THE LAW
    Guess that’s why it never caught on.
    Fun sign post you got here.
    Later….

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:35 PM

      That is a crazy bumper sticker, Coyotero! I’d sure be afraid to take my life direction based on what I read on them!

      Thanks for stopping by to read my sign post today 🙂

  12. Eric Alagan January 27, 2013 / 9:34 PM

    People have always sought signs. Many benefited. Some, even after it hits them, remain lost. Perhaps they see only what they want to see – and ignore all else.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 11:31 PM

      I think you’ve got it, Eric – partial blindness (seeing only what we want to) can lead us astray. Thanks for sharing your insights here!

  13. Tori Nelson January 28, 2013 / 7:13 AM

    I tried to make sense of the Cow/Adult Cabaret sign and my brain exploded 🙂 I am always looking for a sign, but I’m starting to think I read them all wrong 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 29, 2013 / 9:40 PM

      I think they just do it for attention, Tori…and it works! Maybe the signs are just written a foreign language? 🙂

  14. Sean January 28, 2013 / 3:33 PM

    Signs could be a wonderful thing. They can give direction or destination or even let you know when to be watchful. There are times when God will let you glimpse at what is to come, there are also times when He will not show you what you ask for. Sometimes we may not understand them at that time but later on we see that His direction is always best. When we get puzzled by those moments when we want to go one way but not sure if that is the right way or not, then we need to seek His face to discover the path that we need to follow. Kinda like walking in the desert. You follow a path that looks well traveled. You come to a fork and have to determine if that path will take you where you want to go. Sometimes that path not well traveled will show you different scenery than the one well traveled and they could end up at the same place. I guess it is something like dreams when we want something to happen but it does not and later we understand why it didn’t happen but at that time we really wanted it to happen. Ok, hopefully this isn’t too confusing. I think I need more sleep.

    • Sean January 28, 2013 / 3:38 PM

      I forgot to comment about the bull. Couldn’t leave that off lol. I noticed a couple of things, one was that the silhouettes seem to have crutches. It could also be that the establishment was once a grocery specializing in meat. I didn’t think a meat market sounded very nice lol.

      • jannatwrites January 29, 2013 / 9:54 PM

        Meat market…hahahaha! When I first saw it, I wondered if the cow was a reference to the employees or the clientele 🙂 If they wanted to get people’s attention with that sign, I think it worked!

    • jannatwrites January 29, 2013 / 9:46 PM

      Signs can be ambiguous and often times it takes traveling further down the road before they make some sense. Hindsight sometimes puts the puzzle together, but other times, not. I like your analogy of taken the well-worn path vs. the one less traveled…interesting thought that they could end up in the same place. I always imagined the end result being completely different.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment and taking time to give me something to think about, Sean!

  15. Tessa January 28, 2013 / 6:30 PM

    I always look for signs. Luckily I don’t miss all of them. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 29, 2013 / 9:47 PM

      Seeing some signs is a good thing, Tessa 🙂

      • Tessa January 30, 2013 / 1:28 PM

        Having a lack of true religion for so long made other things necessary. I learned to read signs and they were usually right. I also visualize. Now I have added church and God back into the equation.

        • jannatwrites January 31, 2013 / 11:07 PM

          I guess we get to our destination with or without signs. Guidance is reassuring though!

        • Tessa February 4, 2013 / 4:04 PM

          I think we also get there whether we want to or not. I believe we have a destination from the beginning, but there are many ways of getting there. Some we don’t like, but we get there.

        • jannatwrites February 5, 2013 / 8:10 PM

          I think there are many routes to get to the same destination, too, Tessa. Each decision determines our path.

  16. Sandra January 29, 2013 / 9:06 AM

    I admit I might be “selective” when it comes to signs. Sometimes I don’t (want to) see ominous signs, and sometimes I think my way into “positive” signs. 🙂 You captured some great signs out there! I’m always too slow to get them, and sometimes it’s not worth driving back “just” for a sign. I really wanted this one for a duck crossing. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 29, 2013 / 9:51 PM

      I think the duck crossing sign would be cute, Sandra! I can relate to avoiding recognition of some signs – done that 🙂 I’m glad you liked the sign pics…I’ve been accumulating them over the last few months in case I could use them on a post.

  17. Imelda February 1, 2013 / 11:51 AM

    The cabaret sign – isn’t that a bull on top of the sign. Oh well…now that I put it sounds almost obscene…. The sign is rather sneaky…

    • jannatwrites February 1, 2013 / 11:44 PM

      Hahaha! Your comment made me laugh, Imelda. The sign is certainly odd (oh, and yes it is either a cow or a bull.)

  18. Scriptor Obscura March 10, 2013 / 8:21 AM

    There’s a famous video that’s been shown on AFV, America’s Funniest Home Videos, I think it even won the 10,000 dollar prize, where the camera first shows a billboard saying Adult Videos, or Adult Entertainment or somesuch, and then the camera pans to another billboard with an image of Jesus which says “God is watching,” or “Jesus is watching,” one or the other…Its really funny…the two billboards were so close to each other. Heh. I’ll have to try to find that one if I can, see if I can find that clip for you, you’ve probably seen it already anyway…I FOUND IT! Here it is, really funny the signs here…

    Enjoy! 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 10, 2013 / 5:17 PM

      That IS funny, Scriptor. Thanks for sharing and making me laugh today 🙂

      • Scriptor Obscura March 11, 2013 / 2:30 AM

        😀 So glad you liked it! 😆 😀

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