Yesterday's post about the roundabouts and circular routes in Hamilton County got me to thinking that here we have a metaphor for life.
We often determine a destination and plot a course, thinking to do the right thing, arrive at the right place. But along the route we encounter a "traffic circle" which throws us into a quandary, for there may be three, four, five, or move alternative exits we may take. And if we lack signposts we may in our uncertainty make a bad choice that sends us into the wrong direction, down the wrong pathway.
Also, while we may correctly navigate our way out of one roundabout, there is very soon another, more choices to be made, more opportunities to veer off into a bad trail. And by "bad trail" I do not necessarily envision a rough and bumpy road, for though we might encounter such, a bad trail might also be a brightly lit and attractive boulevard which leads us ultimately into disaster.
Then there are times in which one might enter a circle and find himself whirling around and around, passing exit after exit, yet in his confusion continuing to circle a point in his life, making no headway. For example, an unproductive or harmful habit comes to mind.
There is one major way in which life's roundabouts differ from those on the roads of Hamilton County. On those county roads one may always spin 180 degrees and head back up the road that brought him into the circle in the first place. That does not happen in life, for though one may spin around indefinitely or exit at one of many ramps, he may not return for any "do overs." We must always move on. There is no changing any of the past.
The blessing we possess is this. God gave us a road map. If we study it carefully and prayerfully we will be guided safely through life's convoluted roadways. But even so it is critical that we remember to follow the directions, not to outpace God nor to go off in our hurry, in our pride, thinking we can do it ourselves.
Or as Eugene Peterson paraphrased these verses in The Message:Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. --Matthew 7:13,14 (KJV)