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Essay

Lost

How many times have you seen it on television or in films? The road sign is broken or stolen or altered or replaced . . . and mayhem ensues. In a comedy, it’s the setup for all the hilarity that follows. In a horror movie it’s the beginning of horrors, sending the carload of young people down the forsaken road to the possessed house on the haunted hill where most of them will die in gruesome ways.

In the 1950s, stealing signs was a popular pastime for juvenile delinquents. Cool kids in movies and on television for decades thereafter had street signs (presumably stolen from nearby traffic arteries) covering their bedroom walls. Hardly anyone mentioned the consequences of removing a stop sign, but anyone who’s driven a dark stretch of highway knows that if you remove the signs, people die.

Proverbs 22:28 says, “Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set.”

“A beware of dog” sign would hardly qualify as an ancient landmark, but the idea is similar. Warnings have been placed along our paths by those who have gone before. It’s no small thing to remove such signage.

Ours is an era when the ancient landmarks are being removed — ruthlessly, systematically, and quickly. I’m not talking about physical landmarks, but moral ones. The old signs hang like trophies on the walls of film makers, teachers, musicians, and others. Every time you see heroes mocked, cowardice honored, or sexual fidelity made to seem weird and abnormal, listen for the sounds of a saw cutting down a highway sign.

The ultimate enemy of civilization is chaos and when we remove the ancient landmarks, chaos inevitably follows. At first, there may seem little difference — perhaps only an isolated catastrophe here or there. But as memories of the markers fade, chaos ensues.

The removal of the ancient signposts is not just an American phenomenon. With only a few exceptions, it’s happening all over the world, to nation after nation, people after people.

Jesus gave us the perfect word to describe life without Him — lost. It’s true of the individual who rejects Him on a personal level, but also of the society that rejects the precepts of His life.

Lost
©2007-2019 Tom Gilbreath All Rights Reserved
Posted: 9-17-2007

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