The Flagmen

flagmen

TheDiscipleMD

It seems that my whole life I have been driving on roads that are “under construction.” The road leading to my office seems to have been that way for years. A few years ago I passed by a familiar person, “the flagman.” He looked like your typical construction worker; hard hat, bright orange vest, jeans, boots, and flannel shirt. In his hands were the tools of his trade; a two way sign and a Walkie talkie. On occasion, I have had the privilege of being first in line as he performs his most arduous task of twirling the sign from “stop” to “slow.” The other morning I found myself in that position. It gave me a few minutes to watch the “flagman” in action. As I watched him, I thought to myself, “What a boring job. I’d die if I had to stand there all day holding that sign!” I thought of how unimportant he must feel. I watched him talk on his radio. I don’t know what he said or what was said to him, but pretty soon he flipped that sign from “stop” to “slow” and waved his arm indicating to me that I could now go forward. I pulled out into the other lane and started to travel down the single lane towards work. The construction area ended up being about a half mile. They were repaving one side of the road. It was a winding road and on more than one occasion I was driving around sharp turns that left me with no sight as to what was around the bend. As I was driving around one of those sharp turns it occurred to me that my boring friend, “the flagman”, better have properly communicated with the other “flagman,” because if he didn’t, I was potentially driving into a head on collision with another vehicle. Suddenly it dawned on me how important that “flagman’s” responsibilities were to my life. If he performed his “boring” job poorly, it might cost me my life. In that instance, my estimation of the “flagman” went up because I realized that even if his job looked easy, and boring, it was still very important. I arrived safely at work, despite the detour due to construction on the road. But I discovered something that day. I have been taking “flagmen” for granted my whole life. They have always done their job right. I’ve never had an accident due to their negligence. I had a “flagman epiphany!”

The Lord has his own “flagmen.” They are ordinary looking; most hold boring jobs. Henry B. Eyring described the Lord’s “flagmen” and reason as to why he calls them.

“Because the Lord is kind, He calls servants to warn people of danger. That call to warn is made harder and more important by the fact that the warnings of most worth are about dangers that people don’t yet think are real…Here is the charge given to each of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ: “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor” (D&C 88:81) The duty to warn our neighbor falls on all of us who have accepted the covenant of baptism”. (“Let us Raise Our Voice of Warning”, Jan. 2009)

All of us have been called as “flagmen.” The job of holding the “stop or slow” sign may seem boring or look unimportant to some. But it isn’t! It can be life altering! Being a “flagman” for the Lord might entail days, months or even years of tedious work. But let us not forget how important of a job we really are performing. Lives can be changed, perils can be averted, and people’s ability to travel through this life safely can be greatly enhanced if they listen to and follow the “flagmen” of the Lord. May we dutifully stay at our posts till all are safely guided to their heavenly destination.

We too have “flagmen” stationed throughout our journey who hold signs of caution and give direction to our lives. Our parents, local church leaders, teachers, apostles and prophets all are wearers of the bright orange vests. Their directions are simple, but important for our spiritual safely.

Since my “epiphany,” I haven’t looked at “flagman” the same way. I have given them a more “dignified” position in my mind because after all, my life depends on their proper guidance. They are now also a reminder to me of how the Lord places common people in this life who serve as spiritual “flagmen” to help guide us safely back to him.

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