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Searching for God
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A Sign from God
By Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein

Part of the Lenten draw, I believe, is this season's underlying message of renewal. This season is meant to remind Christians and anyone else who will listen, that it is never too late to start over again. It is never too late to turn things around. One of my favorite stories illustrating this idea was shared by the Honorable Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, Emmanuel Cleaver. As Mayor Cleaver tells the story, he and his wife flew to San Francisco for a three-day trip and then rented a car to visit friends in a suburb of the city. Mayor Cleaver, like most men, always bragged about his sense of direction. "It is in the genes of men," he said, "to be right when we are driving." The drive to Daly City was supposed to take fifteen minutes. But afterMicah Greenstein about thirty minutes, Mrs. Cleaver turned to her husband and said, "Honey, I think we're on the wrong freeway." Mr. Cleaver replied, "No, we're not, I know where I'm going." He continued on and on until he saw a sign which read, "San Jose, 35 miles." By then, Mrs. Cleaver was biting her lip on the far edge of the passenger side. Mr. Clever, who is also a minister, knew he was wrong, but he also knew that he was too proud to admit it. He kept driving until suddenly, out of the blue, he saw it -- "the most beautiful, gorgeous and transformational sign he had seen in years." The sign had big bold black letters which read, "U-turns Are Permitted"!

The U-turn is a sign from God. God accepts U-turns in Judaism and Christianity, and especially during our holy seasons. No matter how far down the road of life we travel, whether the road be personal, professional, religious, or simply an ill-advised path, U-turns are permitted. When taken carefully, thoughtfully, and purposefully, U-turns can steer us in the right direction. At the very least, they can help us find a better route than the way we were previously headed. This forty-day Lenten period is the Christian time designated for rethinking and reconsidering the road we've been on, and not being afraid to change directions. It's a time to take a look at the spiritual road we've been traveling, and entertain new possibilities for personal growth, a deeper relationship with God, better relationships with those we claim to care about, and more love for the least lovable among us, because they
need it the most.

Copyright ©2001 by Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein

--from "A Sign from God" by Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Read " Sign from God" in its entirety.




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