What is the significance of that octagon-shaped red sign on a street corner? It means STOP. I sold cars for many years, (26), and I eventually became tired of the grind and having few benefits, so I decided to find a new career. I went to truck driver training, earned my CDL, and off on the open road I went. I hated it. I had to drive in morning traffic in Detroit, St. Louis, etc. One morning came off of the infamous I-80's "Donner Pass," into Sacramento, California, and 5 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic, that was a determining factor into early retirement from that career. Trying to watch signs and not kill others in the process wasn't my cup of tea. One missed street sign could ruin your day, and maybe the rig you're in. I really have learned to respect the people who drive for a living.
I also discovered the importance of obeying road rules by following signs posted along the way. In my time in sobriety, there are similar signs to follow. These aren't visible to my eyes, but they are there nonetheless. People who observe my life, like my sponsor, see I'm going in the wrong direction, but I don't. But I'm learning, with their leadership, and God's help. I know if I stop attending recovery meetings, stop asking for God's help each day, stop helping others, and stop putting good thoughts in my head by reading necessary readings, I'm not reading the road signs ahead. My path is no path, but a bumpy wilderness, so to speak.
As a follower of Christ, the same applies here too. I'm not saved by doing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading, or serving. But these are the products of my new life in Christ. I want to do those things so I know Him better. When I stop doing them and become complacent, I'm completely disregarding road signs that lead to peace, joy, and real living. Missing those roadside warnings cause me to wonder what is wrong with God, why my life is turning into a virtual wreck, why is He allowing all of these problems? I missed the signs.
"We alcoholics are undisciplined (addicts too). So we let God disciplne us
in the simple way we just outlined. But this is not all. There is action and
more action. Faith without works is dead." pg.88 AA's Big Book
"For we walk by faith and not by sight." 2Cor. 5:7 (NKJV)
It takes faith to see the signs ahead. If we have determined our complete and utter failures in life, and know we need God's help every day, He will make us keenly aware of the signs to follow. We need only to trust Him daily, ask Him to help us upon awakening, and before we end our day, be sure to thank Him for helping us become more wary of our dependence of Him. Reviewing our day in prayer is revealing. We may see every sign we missed, every opportunity He gave us to help another. Those readings we use daily point us in the direction we should go, giving us the manner of how we reply in service to others. So stay tuned into them as though they were a map because they are.
Life is full of different roads. It is easy to take a wrong turn, everyone does. But be determined to stay on course and see the signs by building on your relationship to God, and giving yourself to the service of others. Examine YOU each day. Look back on where you have walked today and see if you are moving in the right direction.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all, and keep your roads straight! Keith