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Gospel Gazette Online
Vol.  10  No. 12 December 2008  Page 10                    powered by FreeFind

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What Part of Stop Don't You Understand?

By Raymond Elliott

Raymond Elliott

When I look out my office window, I see this stop sign in my yard right at the intersection. It is a constant reminder that this sign is important because it has been placed there by our city officials and for an express purpose. Even if a driver cannot read, the sign itself exclaims something when one recognizes it and that is, you need to stop your vehicle. It may be that some people do not understand the various signs along our highways and streets or even in the parking areas of the various shopping centers. For example, my wife and I were leaving a department store, and we were walking in a lane that was painted there for reason. There were signs on either side of this lane that read “Yield.” We felt relatively safe walking to our automobile. I say ‘relatively’ because you never know what a person may be thinking or doing while driving an automobile. I saw this car approaching us very slowly, and at the same time I saw the driver talking into her cell phone; yet, I felt rather sure that she would stop for us—but she didn’t. I pulled Virginia back and the car went right in front of us. The ‘red-necked’ side of me yelled out, “Can’t you read that yield sign?” She stopped her car a short distance from us and got out and shouted back to me, “It didn’t say stop!” I wanted to say, but I didn’t, “Here’s your sign.” You see the poor lady did not know what “yield” meant.

A dear Christian lady and friend of ours related her experience about not stopping at a stop sign in the city where she lives. She said that she slowed down and moved carefully through the stop sign, but to her dismay a city policeman saw her action and stopped her. The policeman happened to be a former student of this retired English teacher. As she pleaded her case, that is, she did slow down for the sign before proceeding through it. In response to her pleading he said something like this: “Yes, Mrs. ‘Jones,’ but you taught us that there is a difference between a comma and a period.”

Here are three reasons why we all should obey ‘stop’ signs, especially the one in my front yard and at this particular intersection. First of all, we are to obey our civil governments and that would include our city officials according to Romans 13:1-7. Listen to what the apostle Paul said about this matter: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Second, we should obey the laws governing our driving habits, if for no other reasons than for “conscience’ sake,” knowing what the law requires (Romans 13:5). The third reason that is so applicable to our situation and our immediate neighborhood is for the sake of our children. We have scores of precious children in our community. When you come to this particular stop sign, and you speed through it, you place our children in danger whether you turn to the right or to the left because there are children often playing in every direction. You have no intention of injuring one of these precious ones, but you never know when one of them might dart in front of your automobile before you could stop. Therefore, the next time you approach this stop sign, do it for the children’s sake and come to a complete stop before you proceed.

Now, I am not one who would be willing and able to “cast the first stone” simply because I have from time to time violated the laws regulating the driving of automobiles, but I am doing better with the passing of the years.

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