yes, it’s true – the BUMP is back! Well actually the BUMP never left, it is right where it has always been. It is the warning sign preceding the BUMP that is back, (again) a newer, updated version – bolder and brighter than ever.
I had not walked the golf course in quite a few months, so imagine my surprise when I came across my familiar old BUMP sign painted on the cement path, now transformed into something new. The once bright blue letters boldly proclaiming “BUMP” had faded over time due to weather and traffic on the path. Now letters of yellow-gold glowingly, glaringly proclaimed BUMP to all who walked this path.
These letters were painted over the now faded blue letters, but traces of the old blue warning were still visible beneath the new letters, peaking out from underneath the edges of the glowing yellow-gold letters that had replaced them. I guess someone thought people like myself were no longer paying attention to the BUMP warning, so drastic action needed to be taken. The warning itself remained the same, it just needed to be re-presented more boldly to get my attention.
The hazard that is the BUMP had not increased nor changed in any way – just the warning had been updated. The old warning had become familiar and faded, commonplace, no longer commanding the attention necessary to deliver a heads up to the unsuspecting walker or jogger.
This got me to thinking – as I begin this New Year are there warnings I need to update so that I once again take notice of them? Have I learned to ignore certain warning signals rather than give heed to what they are telling me?
One such warning comes to mind immediately. I have been driving with my tire pressure warning light on for more than a month now. I got so tired of taking my car in, that I have just ignored this warning light and kept on driving. It no longer gets my attention. I am used to it. It has become normal. (just like the blue BUMP warning became normal, but the new glowing yellow-gold BUMP got my attention today.) The message hadn’t changed, I just needed to notice it once again and make the necessary course correction.
Do I need to update any warning signs for the new year? What warnings have I stopped paying attention to as I go about my day? Maybe something like, “danger-failure to forgive may damage your relationships” or “beware-hatred is hazardous to your health.” How about “look out for liars – don’t believe everything you hear.” or “proceed with care – selfishness and greed may be harmful to your heart” or “caution – entering gossip & slander zone.” or “enter at your own risk – bullying practiced here.” or “cannot be held responsible for outcomes occurring apart from prayer” or “danger – casting of stones may occur without warning.”
All these warnings are meant to give me a heads up as to what lies ahead, giving me a chance to adjust my attitudes and behavior thereby avoiding the negative if not dire consequences that awaited me if I continued on with my unforgiveness, or hatred or selfishness or any number of things.
Ephesians 5:15 puts it to me very clearly, warning me to “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Maybe I need to revisit and to repost the warning signs in my life that keep me from veering off the path that God has for me. Things like the warning to “lean not to my own understanding but in all my ways to acknowledge God, and let Him direct my path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If any of God’s warnings have become too faded and too familiar maybe I need to repaint them, to rewrite them on my heart anew so that they will again get my attention before it is too late, before I encounter the BUMP.
warnings like “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
or Jesus’ warning to “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:1-3)
that warning is as clear as the glaring yellow-gold BUMP letters on my walking path for sure!
so is this one, “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15)
and this one, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
this is possibly the most profound warning of them all, to have my heart right before my Heavenly Father. To have a heart able to recognize and receive His compassionate warnings to me – warnings meant to protect me and to guide me.
To this end, I desire that God keep my heart from becoming stony and give me a heart of flesh. God’s words are living and active, though they may become familiar, their power to warn and to protect me doesn’t fade with time, circumstance and weather, like the BUMP warning did.
My BUMP warning was intentionally made new again. I want to be intentional about renewing God’s warnings to me as well, by revisiting His word and letting it teach and transform me all over again.
“I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
sincerely, Grace Day