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John 6:26. Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
My family’s annual summer migration from New Jersey to Georgia took place before there were interstate highways. I remember the billboards that were prevalent along the roads. They disrupted the view but suggested adventure ahead and kept a small boy interested.
One series of billboards invited travelers to try some old-fashioned Southern cooking, with each billboard announcing how many more miles to go. The interesting thing to me is that I do not remember the food, but I do vividly remember the anticipation in following the signs.
Interstate highways have replaced such things with the standard, adequate, and functional reliability of fast-food and rest stops. I don’t miss the unsightliness of the billboards. I do miss the anticipation they inspired.
Not to anticipate Jesus would be a similar loss. Those signs call us to what lies ahead but is not yet known, what we’ve been promised but not yet realized, what we trust we might find but with no guarantees. Otherwise, we only have something that may leave us full but not nourished, quieted but not satisfied, safe but not adventurous. The signs are much more interesting.