Everywhere Signs

“If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you are! And you should know that!”    ~ Crash Davis, Bull Durham

For three years I worked in politics. I lived by the mantra “politics is perception.” I understood that everyone’s truth is unique to them, the result of experiences, filters, and beliefs. What you perceive to be true is true–for you.

Yet, I would roll my eyes at statements like, “It’s a sign.” I thought people who saw signs were eccentric, loopy, hippyish. Deluded. I thought, with not a small trace of condescension, “Well, of course if you grasp for meaning, you’ll latch onto something. If you want to see something, you’ll see it.” Just like the people who see Jesus in a grilled cheese.

Remember that fad of seeing holy things in food? A Florida woman kept a grilled cheese that bore the likeness of the Virgin Mary on her bedstand for ten years. She said it brought her luck at the casinos. At some point, she decided to share her good fortune and put the toast up for auction on eBay. A casino paid the woman $28,000 for it. (Source)

I have various thoughts about things like this. Namely, that this sort of nonsense is not worth thinking about. But also, that $28,000 could feed a lot of hungry people. And that at some point in her life, this Florida woman stayed in the sun too long.

It took me awhile to figure out that it doesn’t matter a whit what I think. The world is full of people looking for meaning and if they find it in a sandwich, amen. If they find it in the form of a dog talking to them, that’s another story. But for the most part, we’re all looking for something good, aren’t we? We’re looking for a way to be better parents, better spouses, better citizens. (Okay, and better gamblers.) We’re looking to find our place in the world, to figure out what we want to do with the time we have. Many of us are a bit lost and confused–there are so many things to think about after all.

So we look to signs. But here’s the thing. We don’t look for any sign. We look for the signs we’re predisposed to see. Because of our experiences. Because of our filters. Because of our beliefs. So the signs that make sense to us, that help us, might not make sense for anyone else. That’s fine. A sign isn’t thrown down by God for those who are true believers to take advantage of. A sign is something that you see, because you are looking.

Believe your signs.

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