I was cruising the television channels recently and landed on a station that was airing an episode of the classic series, M*A*S*H*. I saw the wooden directional road sign that displayed the names of various cities in America as well as Seoul and Tokyo. It got me thinking about the various roads we travel or places we go in our lives and the virtual road signs we could use to help us find our way. Just as in the TV series, road signs can be a way of coping with challenging situations.
Let’s imagine, for example, some hypothetical road signs. So much in our lives is very literal and visual. If we can visualize a sign that reads “Patience,” we might try to follow that road when tempted to lose our temper. The arrow on the sign may point us to Ephesians 4:1-3:
I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you
have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one
another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond
Life can present us with many problems. We can get stuck on the road of “Resentment” toward someone concerning a past conflict. It is best not to go there! Our new road sign could point us to Philippians 3:12-14:
It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect
maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have
indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I for my part do not
consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies
behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the
goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Jesus Christ.
Another sign that can easily pop up on our brain-post is “Anxiety.” What direction can we take to relieve anxiety or that of someone else? Proverbs 12:25 tells us:
Anxiety in a man’s heart depresses it,
but a kindly word makes it glad.
And St. Matthew tells us in his Gospel, 6:34:
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day
is its own evil.
And St. Paul reassures us in Romans 8:38-39:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The post in M*A*S*H* had 11 directional signs displayed in a bit of disarray. Our personal signposts may have more or fewer signs and can change as time passes. Sacred Scripture is full of wonderful hope and direction to point us to the right pathways. I have provided only a few examples. Each of us can find our own help. Even if our signs say things like “Doubt,” “Temptation,” “Fear,” “Confusion,” or “Transition,” the Holy Spirit is a great travel guide through prayer and Sacred Scripture. Blessed travels to all of us!