Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 8, 2010

Billboards

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Billboards can bring a smile as you drive down the highway.  I remember one on a north Georgia highway for a restaurant in Kentucky.  It read “An ordinary restaurant wouldn’t advertise here.”  Or one I remember along the highway in Texas for a  brand of dairy products.  “You can whip our cream, but you can’t beat our butter!”  How about this one?  “Another way to enjoy Minnesota is to move to Wisconsin.”

There are some signs I recall that communicated a negative to me.  I know it was my emotional reaction that caused me to hear the message differently than the spirit intended.  I would see signs nailed to a pine tree, and not well presented in color or writing style.  “Repent, or go to hell.”  I confess to you that in my spirit in those days, I felt those seeking to communicate to me were actually hoping I would go to hell.  I have never been able to have a positive spirit about such signs.  It is one of those things that we program into our psyche that remains.

I do find highway signs fascinating, but none today can compete with the signs  of yesteryear along the highway advertising Burma-Shave.  No other company has been as famous for its advertising.  Those were the days of the two-lane highways, and the signs had a home-made look.  There would be a series of 5 to 6 signs posted about every 100 feet.  The majority of the signs were a warning about speeding.  The last sign always named the product —  Burma-Shave.

Examples:

Sign #1  It’s best for      Sign #2  One who hits    Sign #3   The bottle   Sign#4  To let another  Sign #4 Use the throttle   Sign #5  Burma-Shave

Others:  Hardly a driver     Is now alive     Who passed     On hills     At 75     Burma-Shave

Don’t lose your head     To gain a minute    You need your head     Your brains are in it      Burma-Shave

Cautious rider     To her reckless dear    Let’s have less bull     And lots more steer     Burma-Shave

Those signs would keep you awake as you traveled down the highway.  They grabbed your attention and you began waiting for the next one.  They also were more at eye-level.  They were only a few feet off the ground.  I do miss those signs.

It is a real change from the large billboards today . . .  lighted . . . electronic.  Yet, they all have a purpose.  Selling!  Whether a product, a hotel, a vacation spot, or a church, the purpose is to advertise something that they believe is good for you!

Whether we recognize it or not, every person is a walking advertisement . . . a billboard . . . a sign!  Each one of us displays a message to other people.  I am faced with a question.  What do others see that I am advertising?  Am I giving a message of love, care, compassion, stability, confidence, dependability, friendship, and the list could go on?  The message I give could potentially advertise almost the opposite:  meanness, impatience, condescension, hatred, bitterness, and other such.

I know what I prefer to advertise . . . and what, as a child of God, I should be saying through my lifestyle.  Today is a good day for me to do some evaluation.  Is it time for  a remodeled billboard?  Wherever I go today I hope to remember that people are reading my ad and that it reflects the characteristics of my Lord.

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, now and read by everybody.”  (2 Corinthians 3:2)

Lawson

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