I have saved this picture, and have actually used it in one of my prior blogs years ago. I find that from time to time it comes up in my mind as a reference point for where I am at in life at that current moment. It might mean something different for each person, but allow me to dig in a bit as to what it means for me at this stage in my life.
"Life comes at you fast!" That is the Nationwide Insurance motto that they used on their commercials for years. How true that is. One minute you might be cruising down that figurative Iowa road, and then next minute a stop sign on wheels might be rolled out in front of you. You have two options at that point. 1) You blow past that stop sign in your life. 2) You stop and see what God is trying to teach you. I can assure you that the latter is always the better option, but it just might not "feel" like it at the time, or soon after.
December 23rd, 2020 I had a stop sign on wheels rolled out in front of me. My 21 year old son David, who was serving in the Army in Colorado, was killed by a driver who side swiped him and caused his car to flip into a light pole. No, my blogs are not meant to be depressing or always about my son passing, but I will never make an excuse for sharing what I am currently learning. Just this week, two of my friends posted on Facebook that they were alcoholics, but by God's grace they were being delivered from that lifestyle. I am so proud of them! That is the vulnerability and authenticity that I live my life by daily. So for the sake of not digressing, I want to drill down on not the event that changed my life forever, but the event of mobile stop signs that are there to teach us a lesson.
Let me start off this section by saying, not all mobile stop signs in life have to be painful or traumatic. My example listed above was both, but sometimes they are just ways of God trying to get us to slow down in life. We can be cruising along thinking and feeling like everything is just fine, but God wants to remind us of a lesson he would have us learn along the way. For example when you go hiking, it is always best practice to know what is at your feet on the trail, but to not just keep your head down the whole hike. I want to have my head up in self-awareness where I can see the nature around me. Life is much like this as well. So many times we just have the cruise control set, that we forget we need to slow down and learn a thing or two in passing.
I find it interesting to note that the stop sign in this picture is on wheels. That says to me that there is not a permanency to this sign. Not all things are meant to bring you to a grinding halt and keep you there the rest of your life. In my case, I am burdened with an unbelievable amount of grief the rest of my life. I didn't say unbearable, as I have learned to cope with my grief, and be productive in my day by helping others on this journey called life. I have had to learn the lesson that came with having my life slammed into park in an instant, and no it was not joyous or fun. There were no amount of scripture verses that helped, or well wishers. God had to let me be broken in order for Him to fix me. I was cruising along with pride and arrogance in life, and now God has imparted much wisdom to me to learn and come alongside others.
So in summation, what stop sign on wheels has been rolled out in your life? Have there been a couple that you have blown past in denial and stubbornness, and you are now suffering the consequences? Still further, are there stop signs that you have stopped at, but the lesson was too hard, so you put it back in drive and kept going. My hope is that when you come across a figurative stop sign on wheels in life, that you stop, get out of the car, and ask God what you need to learn at this stage of your life. Hopefully you will make yourself authentic and vulnerable to all of us to share what you learned from that experience, as we all need to grow from each other. I had the stop sign rolled out into my life. I stopped and thought I would die, but through God's grace, love, and mercy He taught me how to move forward, just in a different fashion than before. I absolutely hate and detest that my son was stolen from me too young, but I am thankful that God promised to never leave or forsake me, AND HE HASN'T!