While in Great Britain, I noted many peculiarities in speech and customs different from my own—the use of a “water closet” instead of a restroom, tea rooms on every corner instead of Starbucks (although I did find a few of those too), Cornish pasties instead of sandwiches, and my favorite…the moment a bakery worker stared at me in utter confusion when I ordered a “cocoa” instead of a “hot chocolate”.
When he finally realized what I meant, he slapped his knee and belted out a booming laugh.
“A cocoa, says she? Funny word for a chocolate, that. You Americans are such fun.”
When my order was ready, he gave it to me with a bow and a wink.
“Your cocoa, miss.”
I grinned and tipped my head. “I’m sure it’s the best hot chocolate I shall ever enjoy.”
We parted as friends.
Colloquialisms are fun, and there was one sign in Great Britain I admit I prefer over its American counterpart. Instead of the yellow “Yield” signs that pepper our roadways, the British counterpart reads like this: “Give Way”.
Give way. It has a much different connotation than “yield”, doesn’t it? When I think of “yield”, I think of being temporarily inconvenienced, forced to slow down but without much need to sacrifice on my part. “Give Way”, on the other hand, conjures up images of putting down my own wishes and desires so another may have them instead.
Many in our tour group noticed the road sign. One wise lady named Joyce observed, “I want a picture of their ‘Give Way’ signs to put on my refrigerator. It’s such a great reminder. Give way to God today.”
I love that. Give way to God’s plans over my own, especially when mine are comfortable. Give way to the unexpected, even when it rattles my well-laid plans. Give way to seeking the presence of Jesus instead of busyness. Give way to sacrificial love instead of anger, compassion instead of bitterness, forgiveness instead of revenge. Give way to Love. Die to myself and give way to Jesus.
What a great way to live…no matter where you live.