In today’s gospel reading, the people were looking for a sign. Jesus tells them they won’t be getting one anytime soon. Why? Because I believe he knows that the sign won’t make a difference in their lives. The people won’t change, won’t become enlightened, won’t become engaged, won’t allow their lives to be touched and grown. Why waste a sign on people who are not willing to move, take risks, and move more deeply into life! Besides, are they even really seeing the sign before them????
In asking for a sign, will we be open to what may be revealed to us? What if it’s the exact opposite of what we expected? Can we trust? Can we be vulnerable? Can we allow ourselves to move into the unknown and allow ourselves to stretch and grow?
I read this story in "The Gift of Spiritual Intimacy" by Monty Williams, SJ: “There was an acrobat in a small circus whose single act was to walk a tightrope without a safety net. Above the middle of the high wire was suspended a ring made of rope, soaked in gasoline and set alight. At times he would climb the ladder to the roll of the drums and start his walk, only to turn back. The crowds would jeer. At other times, he would leap through the flaming circle. He said he was always scared, and the times he turned back were when his fear got the better of him. But when asked why he would attempt it in the first place, his answer was simple. He would say, ‘I know my life is on the other side.’”
Sometimes we have to let the signs move us to “the other side” of our lives. Signs are there for a reason. They can direct us, warn us, affirm us, and ultimately guide us. When we truly let down our barriers and expectations, signs can reveal much for us and to us. We sometimes need to get out the way of ourselves and take that leap through the fire! In those moments of great faith and courage, we get exactly what we need for our journey. They point us in the right direction.
The song from the 70’s is going through my head right now. “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind!” The song is right. There are signs everywhere. Do we have the courage to let ourselves see them and move to the other side of our life?