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Intersection of Life and Faith

Warning Lights

  • Max Lucado
  • 2004 1 Jan
  • COMMENTS
Warning Lights

I WAS MAD. REAL MAD. THE KIND OF MAD THAT makes your jaw ache. But I had no one to be mad at except myself. I'd seen that silly light burning on the car panel for days. And for days I'd ignored it. Too busy. "I'll take the car to the mechanic tomorrow." But tomorrow never became today. The light continued to burn, vainly waving red flags before my blind eyes. Something was wrong, but I had too many things to do.

"Next time I'll pay attention," I mumbled to myself. The flashlight I was waving must have looked like a dancing firefly to the oncoming traffic. The situation was not pretty: a cold winter night, stranded on a lonely highway in rural Brazil with my daughter and pregnant wife. My breath became smoke as I stood on the shoulder flagging cars. I promised myself I would never ignore a warning again.

Warnings. Red lights in life that signal us of impending danger. They exist in all parts of life. Sirens scream as a marriage starts to sour; alarms blare when a faith weakens; flares go up to alert us of morals being compromised.

They manifest themselves in a variety of ways: guilt, depression, rationalizations. A friend might confront. A Scripture might sting. A burden might prove too heavy. Regardless of how they may arrive, warnings come with the same purpose: To alert. To wake up.

Unfortunately, they are not always heeded. All of us have learned to cover our ears and shield our eyes at the right moment. It's amazing how adept we can be at keeping them out. Warnings can be as blunt as a sledgehammer and we still turn our heads and whistle them away. We have just enough of the rascal in us to believe we are the proverbial exception to the rule.

Warnings flash about us unheeded while we doze in the canoe floating down the Niagara River.

Are you close to the falls? Are your senses numb? Then maybe you need to repair your warning detector. Tune it up with a few cautions from Scripture. Here's three warnings about ignoring warnings:
"Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge." - Proverbs 19:27
"Reproofs of instruction are the way of life." - Proverbs 6:23
"Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice." - Proverbs 13:10

Divine warnings. All inspired by God and tested by time. They're yours to do with as you wish. They are red lights on your dashboard. Heed them and safety is yours to enjoy. Ignore them and I'll be looking for you on the side of the road.

From God Came Near
Copyright 1986 Max Lucado
The Devotional Bible.