THERE’S MORE TO IT — We just put up a new sign for Home Church on our building on Main Street. I’ve been working towards this for the past year, reconciling the types, sizes and costs of it all and it has been quite the mix of emotions. I usually agonize over these kinds of things, but once I finally made the decision to go for it and place the order, the only feelings left were positive ones; anticipation and excitement.
Signs tell our story in the briefest of ways. The message we present must be clear and succinct; comprehensible at a glance to those driving by, and compelling enough to imprint upon their minds what we are and where they saw us. Our hope is, whenever a thought crosses their mind that is in any way relatable to what we are and what we offer, that imprint will guide their thoughts to our door.
We all carry a similar, ‘at a glance’ kind of sign with us all the time. Our body language, expressions, eyes and words all tell a story too. Some people carry a consistent message with their life signs, others have a new sign up several times a day, and many are trying to run their life under the banner of some faded, old, tattered sign that has nothing to do with who they are and what they offer.
Just like the signs over our businesses, we should probably be presenting who we are, without explanation or excuses, with our life sign. I never want it to be said of me, “he’s a great guy once you get to know him.” With a sign like that, people will remember to stay away, and if that is what you want, I suppose you should go for it, but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want to be liked, or be valued, or be valuable to others.
Signs are a big investment, and a commitment to genuinely be as advertised and seen, they are a promise that is a responsibility to maintain.
I could tell you all kinds of my ideas about life signs, but I suspect you have, at this point of reading, all kinds of thoughts in your own mind. Try to curb the temptation to evaluate the life signs of those around you and instead, evaluate your own.
I think the ultimate sign comes at the end of our days, when who we were, what we’ve done and what we meant to others is etched with finality on a granite headstone. I would be disappointed if my life could be summarized only by a pair of calendar dates and my name, surely I should be more than that. I don’t want to be just ‘husband’, ‘father’, ‘brother’ and ‘friend’. I want my final sign to have some adjective power; ‘faithful’, ‘loving’, ‘kind’, ‘generous’ and ‘missed’ – these are the kinds of things I want said of me then, so these are the signs I am putting up now. What’s your sign?