By Jodi Whisenhunt –
My husband refuses to fly in airplanes, so our every vacation is a road trip. We drive a Quest, aptly named since it has racked up many thousand miles trekking from Texas to Canada to Florida and many states in between. When we travel, a GPS navigator announces the route, but road signs guide our journey.Some signs, I think, exist to entertain the weary traveler. Here are a few I’ve seen in my area:
GUARDRAIL DAMAGE AHEAD—I’ll sure try not to wreck right there.
STOP AHEAD—Whose head?
SLOW CHILDREN PLAYING—The speedy kids must be on the next street over.
BEGIN WORK ZONE—Better boot up the laptop.
In the Texas panhandle you’ll see this sign: EARTH 20 MILES—Just what planet were we on?
Of course, signs outside the state of Texas prevent highway hypnosis too. Like this one in West Virginia: HISTORIC ASYMLUM NEXT EXIT—Honey, floor it! That’s no place to stop for the night.
And this one in Oklahoma (probably a few of these along California routes as well): DO NOT DRIVE INTO SMOKE—Let’s stop and roast some weenies.
This one is sprinkled across the United States: LAST REST STOP FOR 100 MILES—Uh-oh!
And what kid hasn’t read this one: FRONTAGE ROAD THIS EXIT and thought, “That must be the longest road in America!”
Some signs communicate through pictures. In Colorado? Then you’ve seen the yellow FALLING ROCKS ZONE showing half the mountain crumbling away and sad cows tumbling down with the rocks. A Florida STAY OUT OF WATER sign with an alligator on it is particularly vivid, especially when an eight-foot gator suns himself underneath. Overseas? In Scotland, have you noticed the ELDERLY CROSSING image of two bent stick figures? Just today, at home in Texas, my husband pointed out a BICYCLE CROSSING that pictured a bike and a large arrow pointing to the road. He said, “There is no bicycle right there!”
Signs do get us where we’re going. They keep us from getting lost, or, if we’ve already gotten lost, they steer us back in the right direction. The signs we most need to follow, and the ones we cannot mock, are those supplied by God. His signs, though, aren’t always so big and easy to read. Sometimes they zip past like the ones along the highway. If we don’t pay attention, we miss them completely. If only flashing yellow arrows surrounded them!
The Bible speaks of many times God presented signs to His people. God directed the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He gave the prophet Isaiah signs of Jesus’ birth, signs that lead to salvation. David told us, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters…He guides me in paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:2-3). He makes, He leads, He guides. God directs our every move. His plan is our road map. His gentle prodding, our signs. Follow His lead. Observe his direction. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). And enjoy the road trip!
Jodi Whisenhunt is a 2009 Amy Writing Awards recipient who lives in Texas with her husband and three children. They’ll be hitting the road again soon and will be on the lookout for special signs. Find Jodi at www.jodiwhisenhunt.com.