I remember back in the 1970’s there was a rock band from Canada called the Five Man Electrical Band. They were one of those one-hit wonders–their one popular song was called “Signs.” If you are from a younger generation, you may remember the song being redone in the 1990’s by Tesla. The lead singer wrote the song after driving along Route 66 in California and seeing all the different signs along the road.
The chorus goes: “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs. Blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs?” After a couple of verses about bad signs he finished with this verse: “And the sign says, ‘Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray.’ But when they passed around a plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay. So I got me a pen and paper and made up my own little sign. I said, ‘Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ about me, I’m alive and doing fine.'”
I’m not sure about his theology, but he was right about one thing; there are signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs. Signs do everything from give us directions, pass on needed information, warn us about something, or give us our daily reminder to call Alexander Shunnarah. Most signs are pretty serious, but some are funny. Like the sign in the waiting room of a veterinarian that said, “Be back in five minutes. Sit! Stay!”
Some signs are a little confusing. Like this one in a London department store: Bargain basement, upstairs.
Or, this sign, in an office: Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday bring it back, or further steps will be taken.
In the “uh-oh” category, there’s this one seen at a conference: For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the first floor.
How about this one, spotted on a repair shop door? We can repair anything. And then down below, somewhat ironically: Please knock hard on the door, the bell doesn’t work.
I liked this one in the “don’t do what the sign says” category for an upstairs restroom. It said: Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.
We have occasionally referenced bad church signs in this space, because sometimes they get a little weird. Like this one, from a message board in front of a church building that read: Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help. Or this one for a support group: Weight Watchers meeting next Saturday. Please enter through double doors in back.Ouch!
Ideally, signs point to something. That is their sign-ificance; they are communicators, or indicators. When it comes to physical health, we use the term “vital signs”–things like temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate–which indicate how healthy or unhealthy we may be.
Likewise, there are several indicators that are signs of good spiritual health. I came across a list of diagnostic questions from pastor Leith Anderson many years ago, and have used it over the years to determine how healthy my walk with the Lord is at any given time. I have adapted it some over the years, but you might want to do a little check-up of your spiritual vital signs by asking yourself these questions as part of your devotional time this week:
  • Do I thirst for God?
  • Do I live by His word?
  • Do I grieve over my sin?
  • Do I live my life by faith?
  • Do I have a servant’s heart?
  • Do I actively love others?
  • Do I live to glorify God?
May all your signs point to “healthy,” and if not, my prayer is that you’ll take the steps of repentance to get back where you need to be to enjoy the life God intends for you to live, in right relationship with Him and with His people.