Last night I was walking home from the movies. I had to walk throughÂ a bunch of rice fields. Because each rice field belongs to a different house, the road kinds of curves around. Not being very familiar with the area, I had to kind of guess where I was going. I knew the general direction I wanted to go, but I wasn’t sure if the path I had chosen would take me directly there, or through some roundabout way.
When came around a turn, I noticed a car that had passed me only a few moments before going the other direction. Hmm. Maybe he forgot something. When I turned the corner. I saw the reason he turned around. There was a big flashing sign saying that the road was under construction. When I approached the sign, sure enough, there was a large piece of road construction equipment parked there, and the asphalt portion of the road ended. On the other side of the fence was a rather ‘in progress’ looking surface. What to do. I checked me watch. The train station I was heading for was perhaps fifty meters in front of me. If I turned back, I would have to walk through the rice fields again, and go all the way around. Which would be about an extra kilometer or two. Which would mean I would miss the next train which was due in about ten minutes, and would have wait for the next one. Which meant that I would miss my connection train at the main station. If was onlyÂ an extra kilometer of two of walking, it would be a no brainer, since I love walking through rice fields. But when you factor in all the added delays I would experience, it was also a no brainer.
I jumped over the “Do Not Enter Sign” and negotiated my way over the ‘in progress’ road they were building. I had to hop over a couple holes, but I finally made it to a walkway, and to the station in time.
Sometimes when we go through life, we come up against what we think are stop signs. Many times we see the stop sign, and turn around, go all the way back around and take extra time. But are they really stop signs? The one I saw above was. It was real. But what happens when you come up against a stop sign in your imagination? If you ask out a girl, and she says, “no,” is that really a stop sign, or an invitation to try something different.
If you are working on a project, and you come up to some problems, are they really stop signs? Or just an invitation to use your ingenuity to jump over the imaginary fence and go around?
The car that was ahead of me had no choice, because the road beyond the stop sign wouldn’t support the weight of his car. But because I was walking, I assumed the stop sign was only for cars, not for pedestrians. What happens when you encounter imaginary stop signs, but you assume they are only for other people, and not for you?
Bad economy? No problem. They aren’t talking about you. You can jump over the fence and think of another way. Limited budget at work? Not for you. They mean somebody else. You can think of other ways to get the project done. You have to run thirty minutes a day and eat only oatmeal to lose weight? Nope, that’s for those other guys that are really overweight. You can think of a better, easier wayÂ to get in shape.
When you think about it, the only realÂ stop signs thatÂ are the ones that are shaped like an octagon andÂ pained red with the word STOPÂ on it. And you know as well as I do that it’s really only a suggestion, anyways. For those other guys.