Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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The Prophetic Stop Sign

When I was in high school, I spent many hours hanging out with a tight group of friends. There were many weekends on which we would drive around the tiny town of Canyon, Texas. We would stay up all night just being kids.

We were bored, and therefore somewhat stupid. One of the things we used to do was write on stop signs with white shoe polish. We would write people’s names, like ‘Steven.’ The idea was to tell drivers to “Stop Steven.’ I want to assure you that this is not appropriate behavior. Don't try this at home.

A few days ago, I was driving down Lone Oak in Green Hills and came to the stop sign at Castleman. Someone had apparently taken a page out of the bored teenager playbook. Written on the stop sign in bold white shoe polish was the word “something.” As in “Stop Something.”

To misquote Simon and Garfunkel, “the words of the prophets are written on stop signs.” Whoever wrote that word nailed it. You and I are desperate to Stop Something. Are lives are filled with many things, most of them might be very good. But almost all of us are doing too much. We are too busy, too engaged.

However, during this season of Lent, you and I have an official “excuse” to Stop Something. We can give up a habit, an idea, a form of busyness. You can just stop it, whatever it is. Tell people you gave it up for Lent.

There are things we should probably not give up. Time with family, worship, caring for those in need, doing our jobs. But I suspect there are many things that we could let go of for 40 days, and the world would not end.
So, the message for today is quite simple. It is Lent. Stop Something.