Not Shyamalan’s Signs


Something interesting happened recently. Something that goes in that exceedingly, abundantly category. Something that goes in the ‘signs’ category.

I am not sure what to think about signs.

Sometimes, it is a little difficult to think there would be something great and wonderful that God would reveal to me. And then I think that maybe I would misinterpret a big reveal because I am not yet wise enough, or not yet smart enough, or not yet something enough to get it. There are times, I will confess, when I read a parable in the gospels and I nod my head in a stoic fashion on the outside, but I am scratching my head on the inside.

I was raised up all good and proper. You are never supposed to let people see you scratch.

I mean, this is God, right? He’s into that revelation sort of thing. Me, I’m just mostly worried that when I leave the house in the mornings, I still have on my pajama bottoms. And sometimes I worry that maybe I have forgotten to deposit a child in the right place. And sometimes I worry that it is two days from today and somehow I have missed a ton of appointments in the black hole days. I tell myself that is sleep deprivation, but one can never really know …

Signs. God and signs. God and signs and good things.

The funny thing about signs, I think, is that the eyes have to be open. That takes a conscious effort. That takes some real energy. Good thing God is omniscient about my energy level, though. Good thing He is merciful and kind and sees my sleepy eyes. Good thing He can make the whole revelation thing easy for someone just like me.

Recently, I had a regular day. Up early. Time in my Jesus chair while mainlining coffee. One ear listening for the baby to squeak, the other ear listening to the ticking of the clock. And writing.

All nice and regular. All nice and predictable.

I read this verse in Proverbs:

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

I nodded and smiled. I finished my coffee. I laid down the Bible and got ready for my day. I had a photography shoot to go along with an article I had been assigned. I called to confirm, then packed up and headed to the car. As soon as I reached the end of the driveway, the clouds opened and splattered my car with rain. For the entire thirty minute drive to my destination, it rained. Really rained.

Hmmm… that figures.

I could get some nice interior shots. No biggie. Just a change of plans is all. Just a little freelancer’s flexibility is all.

I drove into the parking lot. My subject waved, got out of the car, opened the umbrella.

Suddenly, the regular day turned into that exceedingly, abundantly, Now-Do-I-Have-Your-Attention? kind of day.

The rain completely stopped. The clouds parted enough for some sunshine, and I swear there was even a rainbow. For the length of the shoot, the skies stayed this way. After the photo shoot, I packed everything back into my car, sat down in the driver’s seat and shut the door. As if on cue, the rain started again.

Lately, I’ve been thinking. It’s mostly thinking about this writing thing I do. Everyone thinks about the things they do. If I were a plumber, I would think about plumbing. If I were an architect, I would think about architect-ing. If I were a lion tamer, I would think about lion taming. Everyone thinks about the things they have chosen to fill their days with. Everyone thinks about the things they have chosen to get paid for.

Sometimes, it’s just so hard to do what I do. Sometimes, freelance writing takes more energy than I feel I have to offer. Sometimes, it would be easier to just go to a regular job where I don’t have to search and find and question and pitch and deal with rejection.

Sometimes, I find myself looking at those square ads in our little newspaper about other jobs. Sometimes, I find a job that I could do and then I think about that job. I think about how that job just might be so much better than the job I am doing. Sometimes, I get myself all worked up in such a way that I wonder which path I am supposed to take.

And then, in the middle of the pouring rain, the clouds part and the sun shines.

In all of these activities on earth that I am supposed to be planning, I see that God is already ESTABLISHING. Establishing is way different than planning.

Merriam Webster tells me that the word establish is a transitive verb. Way cool because of three reasons:

  1. A verb is an action word. God is MOVING on my behalf. He is acting in a perfectly holy way in order to do a perfectly holy action for me.
  2. A transitive verb means that the action is transferred from one thing to another thing. From God to little ole me.
  3. The definition of the word itself.

To cause (someone or something) to be widely known and accepted

To put (someone or something) in a position, role, etc., that will last for a long


To begin to create (something that is meant to last for a long time).

Wow. All that for me, despite my plans and my worries and my actions and my tiredness.

I opened up my eyes. I saw the signs.

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