Samuel LOVES going across train tracks and in Uniontown if you leave my in-laws and go to McDonalds the “long train way” you can cross over about 7 sets of tracks. So, Saturday when I picked him up we went the long way to McDonalds – only one set of the 7 we crossed had a “Gated Railroad Crossing Sign” – meaning it not only does red light but has a set of gates that come down. Samuel notices those types of details. He told me, “the red light warning must not be enough here. They have to have a second warning sign to make them stop. Wonder why people just don’t listen to the first warning.” Out of the mouths of babes!
Humans are stubborn like that – think of all the people in scriptures that had WARNINGS but did not heed and this is just a small sampling that came to mind.
- Adam and Eve – warned not to eat the fruit
- Noah warned people over and over as he built the ark and they laughed
- God sent Abraham to warnSodomand Gammorah
- Moses was sent to warn about the plagues
In everyday life we have warnings * warnings on the packs of cigarette that this is hazardous to your health and people still smoke * warnings about drinking while pregnant * warnings about drinking and driving (and still too many innocent lives are lost) * warnings on the calories and fat in food and I still eat it, and that list goes on. How many times do we say to our kids, if you do it again you will … OR don’t make me count to 3…. All warnings – what does it teach them – they deserve to be warned more than once. What happens, they grow into adults believing they deserve warnings. Employers use to be able to give one warning and then fire you – now it is a list of policies and procedures and paperwork. Last year Jim went out with the HazMat team on search and rescues in PA area for the severe flooding – people were warned of the floods and they still stayed – only to risk people’s lives to come save theirs.
Why do I think I do not want to heed warnings? 1. The benefit outweighs the risk – my benefit for the taste of a BAG of DOVE chocolate outweighs the risk in my mind. 2. I am invincible – I can do it by myself 4. It wont happen to me – I won’t get caught if I speed getting to work. 5. Sometimes it is just defiance / stubborness – I remember a time I ordered a piece of pie and someone made a comment, so I ordered the WHOLE PIE to eat. 6. I can make my own decisions about myself and family. Every year I get a “warning” from the school that my children have missed too much school and a licensed healing professional need to write the excuse or I will be fined. And every year I explained I AM a licensed registered nurse, my husband a licensed professional paramedic and we are capable of deciding if our children are too sick to be in school. Also, they make up their work and have good grades and I pay taxes whether they are in school or not. So – I believe my decision making abilities for my family are MUCH higher and valuable to me than “outside establishments”.
But the warning is just that – a warning – a sign to slow down,listen, think, and make an informed decision. Now the instance of the RR crossing signs they are STOP signs – but I bet there was a day where there was just a warning sign of “Railroad Crossing Ahead”. But as people become more daring – they didn’t slow down, they didn’t think first, and they didn’t make an informed decision – they tried to beat the train, tried to jump the tracks… just so they could walk away and brag.
How many times have I been given a warning sign and it didn’t work – so God put up a STOP SIGN. I think that is somewhat true with my health. * wear myself down with lack of sleep and instead of slowing down and making an informed decision (i.e. sleep) – I resort to an Energy Drink… then God gives me a STOP SIGN and I have to take care of me. * get on the scales time and time again and see the weight climbing and instead of taking that as a warning and cutting back on my portion size I waited for the STOP SIGN and have to go on a much bigger lifestyle change.
I am working on PREPARING to hear / see the WARNING SIGNS. I think of my family and the warning signs! When Mary and I have meltdowns, I need to see them as WARNING SIGNS – I need to see them coming and HEAR what she is saying before a STOP sign comes between our relationships with each other (i.e. WARNING of an AVALANCHE – previous blog)! When I am getting too busy and not investing in my marriage I notice the little annoyances become BIG annoyances – that is a WARNING SIGN! When I become distant from God (diminished prayer life, daily lifestyle, etc.), I know there will be WARNING SIGNS – feeling overwhelmed, emotional, empty, and find myself crying and screaming out to God. All the time there were warning signs saying SLOW DOWN and listen… But remember, I am invincible! I can do it myself so I am a little slower at yielding to the warnings.
Dear Lord, please help me to PREPARE for WARNING SIGNS to prevent the dangers ahead!