From the President, East District – Roundabouts

By: Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

“But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” (Jeremiah 7:24)

One of the curious experiences I encounter as I travel the countryside of southern Ontario is the constant maneuvering through what are called “roundabouts” along the highways and byways. Not only are these roundabouts found on a number of the main roads of the municipality in which I live and work, but these “highway conundrums” are popping up throughout many rural areas across the province as well.

I refer to them as “highway conundrums” half in jest, but for logical and well-intended reasons also. A roundabout is a circular plot of ground placed in the centre of the intersection of a highway or thoroughfare. I have it on good authority that these circular plots of ground or traffic circles first began appearing throughout the countryside of England, leading to their eventual title of “highway conundrums.”

A second reason why some label them as such is that it can be vexing or frustrating to travel at the slow speed required to navigate these circular mazes in an attempt to get from point A to point B. Roundabouts demand almost a stop as one approaches the hub-like arrangement from which the various roadways branch out. Located at various intervals within this circular configuration are signs which direct the driver to exit the circle and enter the road which one wants to take or which lead to the location one is attempting to reach.

This is where the term “conundrum” can also be applied. If you do not know where you are headed—when to make your exit—then you will end up right back where you entered the roundabout initially. Drivers must not stop to contemplate which roadway to take in order to exit the circle, either. Doing so could cause more than a conundrum. The result might be the sudden screeching of brakes, or even worse, the horrible sound of metal on metal

In a roundabout, then, one not only has a choice to make but the added difficulty of making that choice while traveling in a circle.
The wise traveler who enters the roundabout, however, already knows where he or she wants to go and is alert to the signs. This knowledgeable individual will have little difficulty in finding the way to his or her goal.

For each of us there come times of slowing up. Some of these may be of our own choosing. Or God may allow us to be laid low for a while or to direct us onto a path or in a direction we had not thought of going. Illness may intervene to interrupt our plans.

Even at times like this, the great mercy of God can be at work. It could be that at these moments our souls are much sicker than our bodies. But many of us do not realize this until the physical breakdown comes. As we are thus stopped while travelling on the “roundabout,” we are given time to consider the way that we are taking.

Our celebration of Christmas can well be one of those times of the year when we find ourselves simply going in circles. We can get carried away in all the hustle and bustle and forget the real reason for the season! Whenever these moments come, let us navigate them rightly.

There is a destination ahead. We were not meant to dream, drift, and wander aimlessly. Ours is a high and honoured calling to depart from those things that the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh would have us do endlessly, going round in circles. The direction that God gives us is, “to go forward!” To live the redeemed life that God has come to give us in His coming in the flesh as the Christ-child who was born in a stable in Bethlehem, placed in a wooden manger, and whose goal was to die on a cross 33 years later to procure your and my salvation!

Comments are closed.

From the President, East District – Roundabouts

Posted By: canluth
Posted On: December 21, 2018
Posted In: District Presidents, District Presidents, East District News, Feature Stories, Headline,

More CanadianLutheran.ca Resources