Use Your Turn Signal!

“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them…”
Philippians 4:5a – The Message

I’ve been in Alabama for twenty years now and perhaps one of the most annoying things I witness is people who refuse to use a turn signal when they are driving. I have spent hours in traffic wondering, racking my brain, trying to discern the aversion that so many of us have to using a turn signal. Are we saving those blinks for a rainy day? Are we afraid it will impact our gas mileage? Or, are we just rude and inconsiderate – careless and negligent? I’ve been almost killed in a car accident caused by a careless and intoxicated driver. Maybe that’s why it’s such a sore spot. Or maybe I’m just perturbed at how thoughtless we can be. Such a simple thing, huh?

We are not on the road by ourselves! There are people all around us on this road! There are old drivers and young ones, careful ones, and some distracted ones. There are those in new cars with good brakes, and those in hoopties with breaks that require an extra few pumps. That blinker gives them a heads up, lets others know what our intentions are, and gives them time to react!

As leaders (unless we are delusional) someone is always behind us – following us. Part of our job as ministers is to shed light that allows people to make good decisions, no?

There are so many small things that we should do, that we often neglect because we are lazy and careless. And yes, there are some things we do or neglect to do, just because we are inconsiderate. I am hopeful so I will emphasize the lesser of these evils, as I assume that our issue is the former and not the latter.

So, in case you didn’t pick up on it, I am not just talking about driving. We do not live on this planet alone. We are inextricably bound to one another – our actions, good or bad, have an impact on everyone around us. Our carelessness, our laziness, our lack of consideration, our selfishness – all these come at cost. The cost is amplified when we others are depending on our guidance, our comfort, or our example. Are you listening?

But what if we could in a single stroke change all of this? With the flip of the switch – what if we could make the world a better place?

I suggest that we can.

There is a huge advantage for us in letting folks know where we are heading and why. Letting people get a clear understanding of our motives goes a long way to helping them to anticipate the changes that are ahead. Use your blinker!

“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them…”

Next time you are driving, and you are anticipating a turn, merging, or changing lanes – reach down to your left and flip that lever. Use your turn-signal, and make life easier for everyone sharing this road, this journey with you!

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