I really like this vintage traffic signal hanging in front of the Jolly Roger Restaurant in the Outer Banks. The vine hanging down from one side gives it an elegant, yet rakish appearance that is quite appealing. I also like how the faded green paint causes the lights to shimmer like jewels -- or maybe it's the sunlight glinting on their glass surfaces. At any rate, I consider it a true work of art.
When I was younger, we always called these traffic signals "stop lights." One might say, "Watch out, there's a stop light up ahead."
Even though the green for "go" light and the amber for "slow and be prepared to stop" are important lights, the red for "stop" would have to be the most important of the three. If we don't stop when the light is red, we run the danger of a deadly crash, with harm to ourselves and those around us. I guess that's why we always called it the Stop Light when I was young.
I'm reminded of a verse in Job where Elihu says to his friend, "Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders...God comes in awesome majesty. The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power" 37: 14 & 23 NIV.
Sometimes we need to stop and consider God's wonders. Otherwise, we tend to zip through life without stopping to appreciate the beauty God has placed in the world around us. Stopping to smell the roses is not just an indulgence, it makes like more beautiful and enjoyable.
Then there are times we should stop what we're doing and reassess our lives. Does God want us to continue on this road, or does He want us to go in another direction? In the book of Jeremiah, God told His people to "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls" 6:16.
There's a neat Child Evangelism song the kids love to sing. Even though it's primarily a child's song, the truth of its message is as bright as that red light. Here's how it goes: "Stop, and let me tell you what the Lord has done for me. Stop, and let me tell you what the Lord has done for me. He forgave my sins and He saved my soul; He cleansed my heart and He made me whole. Stop, and let me tell you what the Lord has done for me."
Stopping can be a lifesaving action.