Friday, May 20, 2011

Life is not a Roundabout

I remember when that wonderful innovation called "roundabouts" were introduced to our roads and we, as children riding bicycles, considered them a wonderful novelty. There was a time before roundabouts, chicanes, speed humps, pedestrian refuges, and other so called traffic calming devices. In that marvelous era, roads were wide, footpaths were narrow and street furniture was not even a twinkle in the eye of an under-worked town planner.

I seriously doubt whether any of these things are anywhere near as effective as their designers intended, but they do provide an excellent series of analogies for life and the human condition.

Roundabout signs are triangular in shape for a very good reason. Give Way signs are also triangular. As the former came into being along time before the latter the message is clear. Cars approaching roundabouts are supposed to slow down and give way to traffic already in the roundabout. That is the rule. That is the correct way to use a roundabout.

I have observed, and you probably have as well, two other ways drivers use roundabouts. First, they slow on approach, as one should, then they look to the right and when it's clear, they proceed. They don't look to the left or even directly ahead sometimes. In life, it's okay to be cautious, quite sensible in fact, and it's not a bad thing to only look one way...unless it's the wrong way.

The second group approach at speed, ignore the give way sign and drive straight through, oblivious to any other motorists. People get hurt by other people who tear inconsiderately and recklessly through life.

Just because other people have successfully negotiated roundabouts time after time does not mean they are doing it properly. It's likely to be more a case of good luck rather than good management. Look around you. Other people may seem to successfully handle life and its inherent and inevitable problems but looks can be deceiving. And even if they are, it does not automatically follow that they are living life right in God's eyes.

Life is not a roundabout but there is a wrong way and a right way to live.

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