Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Are You Broadcasting the Right Signal?

"Dad, I'm sorry to say it, but you've become that old guy who drives miles down the interstate with his blinker on."

We caravaned back from our time in the Northwoods today. I know where I'm going AND I have the route on my phone, but I always let Dad keep the lead. 

The first time he left his blinker on, I wondered if he was telling me to get off at the next exit.  But no, we continued ahead.  Ah. He must have forgotten.  I tried to get his attention and finagle MY signals, but no use. The boat was in the way or perhaps he had other things on his mind.

Soon enough, though, he went to pass someone else, and the blinker was used properly.

And then ten miles later, he forgot again. And then again.  

After a while I started to ignore the persistent signal. 

Have you ever communicated something you didn't mean to? Maybe it was a facial expression--you were thoughtful and they thought you were angry or disinterested? Or maybe you used a phrase incorrectly--like I hear myself responding with "No worries!" or "No problem!" when it IS something of a worry or a problem.

Or maybe you continue to put something out there that hasn't been the reality for a long time--the bar advertising a beer that hasn't been made in forty years, the church brochure claiming a program or idea that fell by the wayside two ministers ago.

Such false communications dilute our message and make us look out of touch with our own realities, not unlike a driver in the slow lane, blink-blink-blinking across the countryside.

Messages matter. Let's pay attention to what we put out into the world, and what we need to take down.

This post was written July 8th, but somehow did not post until July 9th.

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