“I don’t have time for this!” I thought this morning, as I realized the lane I was in was closed just ahead. I sat through a cycle of the traffic light wishing I had gone a different route.
Less than a second after the “I don’t have time for this!” thought, it hit me that I was surrounded by cars with drivers and some with passengers NONE of whom likely had time for this, either.
Which reminded me of the sign you see to the left: “BRIDGE ICES BEFORE ROAD.” On a road trip through Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas last week, I saw probably a few hundred such signs.
Early in my experience of these signs I noticed that I had begun to read them “bridges ice before road” rather than “bridge ices before road.”
The moving of one ‘s’ hardly changes the meaning of the sign. In fact, I don’t imagine either reading would prove more or less effective than the other.
On the other hand, the moving of that one letter makes a HUGE difference!
“Bridges ice before road” is a true statement. That signs are posted for each (or most) particular bridges does nothing to change the fact that icing before the road is a characteristic common to all bridges.
If this is true about all bridges, why does each sign refer only to the bridge it is posted near?
I do not know the answer to that question other than as it relates to my not having time to be stuck in traffic this morning. I didn’t. No one else did, either.
One of the great challenges we have living in community is that too many of us seem to live focused entirely on ourselves and our needs. Too often and too easily we get so caught up in our own stuff that we don’t take the time to notice that most other people share many of the same needs and interests as we have.
If we were bridges, we would all ice before the road.
How might it help you negotiate your world this week if you grow your awareness that other people have many of the same needs, interests, desires, distractions, burdens, anxieties that you have?