One Sign

Watson Lake's Sign Post Forest

Watson Lake, Yukon, renowned for its Sign Post Forest, is nothing but a small village filled with hotels and sign posts.

In 1942, a homesick soldier named Carl K. Lindley of Danville, Illinois decided to erect a sign that pointed the way home. He even indicated the mileage to his hometown. With the possibility of a Japanese invasion in Alaska imminent, he and thousands of other American troops had been working on the construction of the Alaskan Highway, and like all of the other GIs, he was tired and longed to return home.

It didn't take long for his fellow GIs, and later, travelers of the Alaskan Highway, to follow his lead, and as of the year 2006, that one sign had grown to over 61,000. The town now maintains the site, erecting more and more signposts as they are needed.

In 1992 Carl K. Lindley and his wife visited the site, 50 years after the first post was erected They must have been astonished to see how one little sign had grown into an entire forest!

All of us leave signs behind, indicating the way to where our hearts lie. To some, it is to casinos, as indicated on one of the tombstones near where we live. To others, it is to wild parties, and to still others, it is to jobs, as even on holidays their minds are still focused on their work's to-do-lists.

I have to wonder what kinds of signs we, as Christians, leave behind. Do our "signs" always point the way to heaven, where our heart should be? Or have we been distracted from our real purpose in life? "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:20-21 NIV)

Remember, once we erect our sign, others will follow our lead. Will we be leading people to life? Or will we be leading them to the ensnarement of sin and death? "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." (Heb 3:12-13 NIV)

May we be encouragers, always indicating the way to the only true, peaceful Home! "Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives." (1 Peter 2:11-12 The Message)

It only takes one sign! What kind are you busily erecting?

Rob Chaffart

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