Every time I walk through the streets of North Beach in San Francisco a scene from twenty years ago comes easing back into my imagination.
It was a wet summer day. The sunset had long been blocked out by the fog quietly slipping in and over the hills as it headed to slow death at the top of the Oakland hills. We were strolling with friends on the hill just below Coit Tower and paused to discuss the merits of sharing an evening together over an unusual Italian restaurant. As we talked I notice two friends striding up the hill together. They were having a great evening! Nothing it seemed was going to disturb them. As they came past you could feel the excitement in their voices as they exchanged passionate views on the subject at hand. Their conversation caught all of our attention and we paused to watch them continue on up the hill.
Unfortunately for one of them they were not looking at the signs along the way. It happened so fast that our voices seemed frozen in mid-breath. In full stride, right at the point where you are pushing forward with strength, the one on the left ran side-faced directly into a parking sign. There was no warning. There were no pauses. Slow motion anticipation was absent. One firm hard step and a slam echoed down the street so that people turned two blocks away to see where the noise came from.
Fortunately he was not serious injured. He stumbled and sat for several minutes while his friend tried to make sure he was ok. After a long pause, he slowly and carefully began the slow walk on up the hill in silence.
Signs are everywhere. There are so many that I often forget that they are actually here at all. I had plans to keep, objectives to meet, goals to fulfill. I also have a Spirit that is willing to guide. So do you.
“A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.” (Proverbs 27.12)