Road Signs

A bus loaded with mostly foreigners passengers cascaded into a ravine along the Transcentral Highway in Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu. It was suppose to be a day of fun and enjoyment as a final summer outing just before the start of the school year. But it turned out to be a tragedy that cost 21 lives. Many of those killed were medical practitioners and students who took part of the tour.
Human error was the reported cause of the crash. The driver, who was part-owner of the JD Tours company, was not familiar with the terrain. In his failure to maneuver the big vehicle down the treacherous, downward spiral of the road he brought a tragic end to the holiday trip. Despite the road signs and railings along the way it was not enough to prevent the accident. Perhaps it was another uncalculated human error: failure to observe and heed the road signs.
Indeed road signs are important. Accident-prone areas have cautionary signs to help motorist avoid accidents. They are there precisely for safety reasons. They protect life and ensure the security of people. Many times, however, these signs are taken for granted. They are over-looked and thus safety is most often compromised. Sometimes, it would even seem that these road signs are useless. They don’t serve their purpose at all because there are those whom we might call “road sign illiterates.”
One of the many metaphors of life is that life is a journey. We are on the road. We are travelers. Our destination is heaven. We are all going to God – the alpha and the omega of our existence. Like any road, there are smooth plateaus as well as dangerous and spiral curves ahead. There are many road signs for a safety travel. However, one could also notice distractive and destructive signs. There are signs that “distract” us from our real goal. They could be our addictions that can lead us out of the way and where we could get lost. There are also signs that lead us to our “destruction” even spiritual death.
Our Christian faith introduces to us Jesus who said: I am the way! He is the way that leads to life. Yet we may still be unconvinced to follow this Way. Yet God generously shows us many signs that point us toward this Way. In fact, there are many imperceptible and ordinary signs in our life that serve as pointers to Jesus. These signs, if heeded, could challenge us to anchor our lives in God. Scripture reading could serve as our natural road sign towards fullness of life. Its pages offer us guidance in the daily events in our life so that we could discern God’s presence in it. We simply need to be sensitive to God’s presence and action in our lives.
I attended one of the “Thanksgiving Masses” of our newly ordained priests. Frs. Ariel, Arvin, Marco and George Allen were ordained on May 24, 2010 at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Punta Princesa. During the homily of Fr. Arvin, in his first mass in his parish at Sto. Tomas De Villanueva in Pardo, he mentioned that when his mother wanted him to enroll in Don Bosco Technology Center as a grade five student, he failed. The next year he made another try, he failed again. It was then that he attempted to take the entrance exam in Don Bosco Missionary Seminary bringing the story that he wanted to become a priest. Yet again he failed!
Instead of being discouraged he asked the Vocation Director if he could be admitted on condition that he would do well in his classes in the seminary. He was given a chance. This became his challenge and the chance to prove that he was not a loser all his life. Now Fr. Arvin stands as one of the ordained priest of Jesus Christ. The initial roadblocks did not deter him from pursuing his goal. He kept pushing on until he succeeded.God does work in mysterious ways.
Our life is made up of many signs. We choose to be attentive to the signs that point us to our destination. Whether they are clear or imperceptible they serve as guide to a meaningful life.

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