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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Follow the Signs

In an old Steve Martin film, LA Story, his character is asking for a “sign.”

He finds it on the side of a freeway, a blinking directional sign, a kind of modern oracle to guide him.

I can relate.

In times when life seemingly presents no answers, I grope for them anyway and somehow they appear when I least expect them and in the unlikeliest of places.

Coming from the doctor’s office, something prompts me to glance at the rear window of the car beside mine, with a sticker that asks, “Have you thanked God today?”

There it is—the message at a time when I’m at a loss for solutions to my child’s serious health problem.

And the signs and their messages keep coming. After an eye-check up, I glance at a parked car’s bumper which shouts,

“Got Faith?” More questions to remind me that I have the answers within me.

Driving on the way to teach my multi-cultural, adult college class of Muslims, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Caucasians: a composite of soldiers back from multiple Middle East tours of duty; single parents, some never been married; some from inner-city projects and gangs; some who have served time—all wanting better lives through education and a coveted degree.

It’s a daunting challenge and responsibility to teach to this diverse population and their mismatched skill levels.

I’m waiting at a stoplight thinking about this night’s class, and to my right I see a church’s corner sign that reads, “Do More Good.”

No specifics, no details or steps to take…just do more good. Seems so simple, yet profound, reminding me of what I can do.

I have learned that when I need them, the signs appear. I just have to follow them.

Copyright © Erana Leiken, 2009-2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Photo by Asif Akbar


  1. I love this Erana! It's true... God gives us signs everywhere, including our own ears. We just have to listen.

  2. Yes, we have to stay awake and aware:)

  3. Erana, "Signs signs everywhere a sign..." Remember that song?
    Another word for signs - in context of your post - is synchronicities. Just when you need to jump, a net appears. When you need more yarn, the thread is provided.
    I enjoyed reading this. Thanks.
    Happy Thanksgiving!