Inspiration

By Charles Towne

When we consider billboards they seem harmless enough don’t you think?

I heard of a billboard that collapsed on two cows, smote them graveyard dead it did!  I wonder how long that thing stood there in a state of murderous disrepair and insidious intent, just waiting for those two bovine milk dispensing critters to wander near enough, innocently chewing their cuds all the while, so it could collapse on them and send them to wherever deceased cows go at the end of their somewhat innocuous lives.

Another time a billboard waited until the farmer was plowing the field, fell on him with evil intent and nearly destroyed his tractor.  I didn’t do him much good either.  To my way of thinking you simply can’t trust billboards, they are cruel, malicious, and insidious as I will illustrate with the following personal and mind-numbing experience.  And yes, as difficult as it might be to believe, I, myself was personally accosted by a billboard.

It was someplace in Georgia, near one of those primitive backwoods villages, perhaps Atlanta or Columbus, that it happened.  I was driving along minding my own business, real happy like when quite suddenly fate jammed its notoriously fickle finger up my nose and ruined my day.  As billboards go it wasn’t anything special, just a bunch of generic two by fours, several sheets of plywood, and a couple of gallons of black and white paint, but whoever erected it has to be one sick, and very perverted turkey.

There it was, up there on that pretty kudzu covered hill where everybody could see it, and in large gothic letters it screamed, “IF YOU WERE THE ONLY CHRISTIAN YOUR NEIGHBORS EVER MET WOULD THEY BE TEMPTED TO BECOME CHRISTIANS?”  To my way of thinking signs that ask questions like that are not really very nice signs.  I pondered that sign.  I laid awake nights staring into the darkness, contemplating that sign and its message.

It made me think some thoughts that I didn’t want to think.

There I was, driving along happy and content in the knowledge that Mrs. Towne’s little boy was a nice little Christian, when, WHAM!, that billboard dealt me a near-fatal blow to my conscience!  No, it didn’t fall on me, but it caused some heart-searching and now, Understanding, that misery likes company, I ask you the same question:

IF YOU WERE THE ONLY CHRISTIAN YOUR NEIGHBORS EVER MET WOULD THEY BE TEMPTED TO BECOME CHRISTIANS?

Be nice,
Think good thoughts,
And don’t put stinky stuff in your mouth


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Well now, that’s a question you just can’t forget. Of course, who could forget billboards especially ones sitting atop a Kudzu covered hill? That made me laugh! Reminded me of driving through Georgia while on vacation.
    I’ve seen thought provoking signs like that and somehow, you just can’t forget them. I guess we need to seriously ponder that question because we are, afterall, the only Bible some people will ever see. Another good one, Chuck….thanks!
    God bless!

  2. Dear CSG, yes, and I have noticed that there is something about billboards shouting in very loud voices that tends to get our attention. The one that illustrates my article, FORGIVE! Boy, how could one ever forget it? Bless you my friend. Chaz

  3. You have planted a seed of thought. I have a feeling that that question is going to keep up night, too. Good question , though. Always good to turn the mirror towards your self, don’t you think?

  4. Dear NH, That is the real purpose, self examination, don’t you think? As we search our hearts He reveals what His desires are for each of us doesn’t He? What a wonderful friend He is! As the musician creates beautiful music so God’s purpose and intent is to bless the world through us as though we are apples of gold in pictures of silver. Blessings on you and yours Chaz

  5. Mike, I hope that the world around us sends a message of love and harmony wherever we go and to whoever we meet. Bless you and yours always, chaz

  6. I would like to think if I saw that I could answer yes, but in truth it seems to me that that billboard is more of a mirror and to be honest it is often more difficult to look in the mirror and say, ” I failed” than it is to say to a complete stranger, ” I screwed up! ”
    On a completely different note, driving through Georgia in the late 70’sI saw this billboard on the turnoff to Plains, Ga. that said, ” we the farmers of Georgia would like to apologize to the American people for Jimmy Carter! ” Different times! To all, A very Merry Christmas!

  7. Ah Richard, but to say, “I tried, and tried again, and I tried yet again!” is the real issue don’t you believe? Remember my friend it was a man’s man by the name of Paul that said, Oh wretched man that I am. That what I would do I don’t do, that which I don’t want to do, consarn it! That’s what I do! Oh miserable man I am, who will save me from this rotten body? Praise God, Jesus shall save me!” Bless you pall, there is hope for us yet! Chaz

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