A Message from Pastor Craig: 1-22-2023

Driving down Federal Highway is always an adventure. For one thing, you never know what it’s called in any given town. Some people call it US1. Some people call it South Dixie Highway (yes, for us those are two different things, not for others). So it’s confusing enough just to be on it.

The other day, a city bus was driving Northbound, pretty close to the Broward/PBC line. Nothing unusual or adventuresome about that. But it’s route sign (I’m sure there is a proper name for that) displayed something unusual. Usually, you look at the electronic sign and see what route the bus is taking. It displays its final destination. And in the modern day, they have made those with a dot matrix so that you can change the sign so the bus can go in different directions when needed.
Brilliant!- as the British say.

Well, this one displayed something not so helpful. It said “User Error, improper code.” To my knowledge there is no place called “User Error,” at least not in Florida. And all routes have a number, so, well… I know, this is silly.

But the sign raises questions rather than answering them. Where, indeed, is that bus going? But also, should you trust the driver? Obviously he or she has some issues. Do you get on a bus that says “User error” right up front?

Now, we all know that whatever little keyboard they give the driver to enter that data had to have been experiencing technical difficulties that day, and that the error of a code doesn’t necessarily originate with the driver. But it got me thinking.

How obvious is my destination to people? How plainly do I display where I am headed? Can people see that I am a Christian, that I am Heaven bound? Can they interpret by what they see in my behavior and my speech that I belong to a particular Way (that’s what we were called in early Christianity). Or are the signals that I give out incongruous? Do my speech and behavior display a user error or mixed signals of Whose I am and where I am going?

I can imagine that the bus driver was aggravated by that sign. Not only did it insinuate that he or she didn’t know what they were doing, it also obviously had not cooperated with them after what I am sure were multiple attempts at making it work. And, everybody getting on the bus had to ask where it was going.

When I behave in ways that are inconsistent with the Christian label that I have taken on, people wonder, people are uncertain, and they have to ask where I’m headed with whatever behavior I’ve displayed. I want to be consistent. What I proclaim as my faith needs to match what I say, and where I go, not unlike a bus that clearly labels itself as (in this case) a Broward County bus, but whose destination has been messed up by the “user.”

Back home,

Craig

These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and
judgment for peace in your gates. Zechariah 8:16