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Monday, May 7, 2007

Just Follow The Signs

You have an appointment with your new dentist. You are unfamiliar with their location. You go online, type your starting address and your address of destination to get directions to your new dentist's office and you scribble this on a piece of napkin. You reset your mileage counter to zero, follow the directions exactly and you get to your appointment with your breath still feeling minty fresh from having brushed 15 minutes ago. Thanks to Yahoo! maps, you never have to drive around for hours and if you're directionally challenged like me, you'll never have to bother with a cumbersome map.

I love how our journey to unfamiliar territory is made easy with directions that are precisely laid out for us. What I'm also grateful for is when people take the time to post extra signs that point to their garage, yard and estate sales! One newspaper advertisement I particularly liked, boasted the lines: "You will not get lost. There will be lots of signs!" You can just drive around on the weekend and follow the luminous yellow, or green or hot pink signs and you'll eventually end up in front of somebody's yard with their merchandise sprawled out. Some people, however, only post a few stray signs and hope for the best. I wonder how much business these people drive towards their sale?

Anyway, a garage sale sign catches your attention and decide to pursue it. A couple of minutes later you find yourself wondering if you're going the right direction because the signs are too few and far in between. With your persistence, you follow your instinct and voila! You find your target and start rummaging and haggling for prices.

So you see, signs are very helpful in a way that they lead us to where we want to be. When in doubt, we rely on our instincts.

Getting to your appointments on time or finding neighborhood garage sales is not what my post is about. My post's real message is more than finding your way around traffic or a maze of houses. That was merely to give you an analogy of following directions, or signs ~ real life signs that we often take for granted, but are actually directions in disguise that lead us to our choices in life.

As I've mentioned in my previous post, seemingly innocent occurrences in our lives can be the key pieces to unveiling an even bigger picture.

Let me give you an example of how I interpret these heavenly signals.

After dropping off my son at school yesterday, I visited our local church. I enjoy going to church when I know I can be alone, or when there's only a few fellow weekday visitors on occasion. I like to close my eyes and imagine God sitting in front of me with His Fatherly concern gaze, intently listening to everything I had to share. After giving thanks for all my blessings, I proceeded to have my one-way conversation with God. I pleaded for answers and desperately needed to hear a bird's chirp, or rustling of the wind, or see an old man entering the church, or any sign that will tell me He's listening. After no sign was given, I again gave thanks for I know that sign or no sign He heard me, and I left for home.

Traffic was unusually heavy for an early afternoon weekday. Still consumed with my one-way conversation that I started in church, I slowed near a shopping entrance to let a van merge with traffic. The driver waved his hand and mouthed a "thank you". The light blue van got in front of me and to my surprise, the license plate read: 1MYTGOD!

Was it coincidence that I chose to slow down to give way to this van at that moment? I think not! I may not have gotten a sign when I asked for it in church, but right in front of me was a manifestation that clearly, undoubtedly told me that GOD WAS LISTENING! The sign came when I least expected it. Even after receiving numerous signs, I still can't help but be in awe after receiving each one. Sometimes I chuckle when I get signs that are funny and unexpected. It tells me that God has a sense of humor and that He does work in mysterious ways!

Some may call this occurrence a coincidence, but because I was asking for a sign, I knew that this was God's way of communicating with me. I was at the right place, at the right time to receive His message: that He heard everything I shared with Him.

Signs or heavenly answers are meant for people seeking for these clues. One incident may mean something to me, when it can be utterly useless to someone else. In return, other's perceived answers to their prayers may mean nothing to me. I guess what I'm trying to say is, God answers us in ways that we sometimes take for granted. Seemingly innocent occurrences in our lives, no matter what point in our lives they occur, may give us clues to where God wants to lead us.

Is there a word that constantly pops up in your head, or a song that you can't seem to get out of your mind, or maybe an object that persistently catches your attention? Or what about a person's name that you're inexplicably attached to? What about your fears? Have you stopped for a minute and analyze why these have such vivid presence in your life? Maybe these are "signs" that you ought to look deeper into. When you realize what these things actually mean to you, you will begin to see that God has been trying to tell you something.

For instance:

I've been scared of spiders ever since I can remember. I get squeamish when I see one, especially big brown spiders that carry their egg sac under their belly. I scream and run away at the sight of these unsightly, hairy arachnids. I don't even have the courage to throw something at them let alone smash them with a broomstick. One night, as I recalled my indigestible incident with a cockroach, (to read that article, click here)There's A Roach In My Milk

I found myself wondering why I have such fear for spiders. Then I thought about their characters and their behaviors. Then I thought about their method of catching their preys with their web.Then it came to me! Web! I knew this was another one of God's message to me.

In my earlier post, I wanted to make a difference in other people's lives but didn't know how to spread my message of goodwill. (click here to read that article)
What Keeps You Grounded

That night, I got my answer. What better venue to reach millions of audience than on the Internet...known as the world wide WEB? You may think I'm delusional for construing this as a "sign" from up above. Again, what means something to me, can be utterly meaningless to another person.

I still rely on my instincts when I come face to face with what could possibly be a sign or an answered prayer. I can't even begin to explain the feeling when you realize God has just answered one of your questions. You feel giddy and excited, you are in awe of how the answer all came about, you get that EUREKA-kind of feeling, like you've just discovered gold, and you feel stupid for having ignored the signs and the answer has been staring at you all along. You just feel it in your heart that God is communing with you.

This is just one of the many signs, or clues, or coincidences if you must, that I've come across in my life. There are countless others and I will share more in my future posts. The next time you ask God for a sign, go with what your instincts tell you and don't be surprised if He answers you with a burnt out light, or a feather on your windshield, or a plate that reads 1MYTGOD.

Directions to how we should live our lives have been laid out for us, if we believe and just follow the signs.

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