When traveling in another country, it is often hard to understand the signs.
Especially if you are in charge of the transportation needs and you are mapping to a destination. There’s a sign! What does it mean? Is that English? Confusing!
There’s no directional component. Which way do I turn?
Along with signs we find platitudes to be the darling of simple statements meant to point out particular views of life. Mostly they have a moral component and if you think about them long and hard enough you might grasp their meaning.
Some favorite ones?
- If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
- Prior Proper Planning Prevent Problems – the 5 P’s of success
- Worry is a sign 100% of the time that you do not have God at the center of your life!
- Panic! Everything the call of God is not.
- The most dangerous place to be with God is feeling like you are getting away with sin.
- Prove yourself to yourself. Not others.
At least, these are some I’ve used the past few days.
I find both of these useful. Signs identify Location, as well as Destination. Platitudes are like words of wisdom that pauses for the moment, and from that pause I can determine Location and Destination!
Signs and Platitudes are valid, only if I agree with them. Some of them are so complicated it is difficult to know where I’m at, or where I’m going.
When you know you have a shorter span ahead of you, signs still show their importance – where am I, which way do I go to get to my destination. Yet, when you reach a particular time of life, platitudes often roll off your tongue as you share your life lessons with a younger crowd. Instead of asking for directions, you start giving them.
Signs of the age we are living in are searched for by every generation. Where are we in the timeline of God’s plan? Even Jesus dealt with this.
Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed. Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:1-12 NKJV)
In this portion of scripture he used a scholarly reference that could be construed as a platitude. We’ve heard it like this.
Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning
He applied the platitude to their question about signs and related the entire passage to their ability to understand the natural world but a huge disconnect with the spiritual world. And he warned the disciples to watch out for their doctrine (their instructions).
Signs of the times are important!
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:3-6 NKJV)
Notice his ending… See that you are not troubled. These things must come to pass. But the end is not yet.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 NKJV)
You know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come as silently and without warning as a thief in the night… In other words, you will never see it coming!
That’s the sign. What’s the platitude?
I’m still working on this one!