Sign of today or the past?

Keep out sign

Keep out sign

I love this sign. It is on a road, well an old railroad area, near out house. We don’t own the area that we are supposed to keep out of, and we have walked along the tracks to the bridge for years. With the tracks gone, many people now drive along this road bed with cars and ATV’s, which is what the sign is all about. To me the sign says more than Keep Out. It says, “Stay away from the area of my youth.” It says, “This spot is only for those who have spent time here their whole lives.” And mostly it says, “If you didn’t grow up by this road, you don’t belong.” For me it is an exclusive, and it is one of those places of the childhood that makes me feel very selfish.

The more I write about this sign, the more I begin to see it not as a physical sign to a very specific place, but a figurative sign. All of a sudden, it is about attitudes. Just now I am seeing it as the way we put up signs on our faces, with our posture, with our words and ways of doing things that keeps others from approaching us as well as joining in the places we go, the things we do, and the way we live. I am also thinking that it is bad enough that we do this with our secular selves, but some of us do it in the name of religion. Church is not an exclusive club, or at least the church that was founded on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth was not intended to be that way.

Christianity is supposed to be about everyone. It is supposed to be about including all people at the table when we feast with Christ. In the gospel of John 17:21 it says, “That they may all be one.” The preceding verse is: “I ask not only on behalf of these, [meaning the disciples] but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word.” And the completion of the sentence is–that they may all be one. Such was the attitude of Jesus the Christ.

I am amazed sometimes how things get planted in a mind. I was sitting down to do a blog about the garden and some of the pictures I took this morning, and here I am focusing on a sign that I snapped a picture of at the end of my little walk. I have been wrestling most of the day with ideas about how to put together a service celebrating Earth Day while using the scripture about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It hasn’t been clicking too well since I got fairly disgusted with how some of the “Earth Day” ideas that I read up on are really anti–towards our rural way of life. I mean really who is more in favor of the earth than we who depend on it for our livelihood? Oh well, I will have to resolve this eventually.

I just want to leave today with some questions about the sign. What do you think of Keep Out? What does a sign like that say to you, today?

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tilly Frueh
    Apr 26, 2015 @ 14:56:05

    I can relate to this sign and your connection to religion. When I got engaged it was very important to my would-be husband we be married in his church. A priest at the Serbian Orthodox church he and his parents were members of had sponsored them and enabled them to move to the United States. Although the priest had died many years ago, the church was still symbolic to him in many ways. He believed he owed this to the priest and his family and wanted to honor his memory in this way.

    I had some issue with this, as my parents had raised me that it is custom to be married in the “woman’s” church. Trouble was, I had no church. My parents took me to church twice a year without fail and never followed through on confirming me in any faith. Knowing this was something my husband and I could share and bring our children up in, I not only agreed to be married in his church, but converted and was confirmed Orthodox before our wedding.

    My parents were devastated and refused to come to my confirmation and his parents had issues with an “American” joining their church and refused to come. So we had a small service with just the priest. The three of us alone in the church. It was actually one of the nicest things I’ve ever experienced.

    Unfortunately the reaction from my parents and hubby’s parents was more indicative of how society would react. Although we tried to become part of the Serbian Orthodox church, I was never accepted. I was always the “American” wife of a Serbian man. Even our children were ostracized. The priest that we met with prior to our wedding, that was present at my confirmation, our wedding, and our children’s christenings was moved to another church and the remaining priest too had a Serbian prejudice against us. It left us without a church. Hubby was never “religious” and I guess I wasn’t either so the loss wasn’t there. I never felt a need to go to church to worship or practice my faith. It is a shame though that in a church, where I thought everyone should be welcome, there continues to be unwritten KEEP OUT signs.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Glenda Zimmerman
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 22:28:00

    Reminds me of the song about sign, sign everywhere a sign—– remember that one about the long-haired hippie who didn’t get the job and when he put his hair up under his cap, he went back, got the job, then took off his cap and said,”imagine that, me working for you?” Something like that anyway. Signs seem to make people want to go against them. We are a stubborn, defiant race. Thankfully, God loves us all and is merciful. See you in two weeks!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. donna213
    Apr 25, 2015 @ 17:55:33

    You made a lot of good assumptions. Signs like that do have attitude and can make one think of a time when it was not wrong to walk through that area. I feel religion sometimes has that Stay Out mentality. Where it is like being in an exclusive club. You are right too, that Jesus took and loved all kinds of people under his guidance.

    Liked by 1 person


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