This past week was National Roundabout Week and an interesting thing happened in our community. On May 16, 1997, Carmel, IN opened its first roundabout in our city; and it happened to be in our neighborhood. Since then, there have been 133 additional roundabouts built in Carmel with another two set to go live in the next several weeks. In fact, we are the roundabout capital of the country; and probably the world!
Throughout the years, I have learned quite a bit about how traffic flows, accident rates and many other traffic statistics. As I am on the Board of the our local Homeowners’ Association, I was asked to help the Mayor unveil the new signage that will identify us as Carmel Roundabout #1! More than 125 people from our neighborhood came to join in the celebration – we had ice cream, special cookies, small tokens of appreciation and a great time on Wednesday night when the plaque was presented to us.
For those of you who don’t know about roundabouts, they are like traffic circles. They are areas where traffic can come and go through a series of entrances and exits. While most roundabouts are, indeed, round, Carmel has a number of advanced designs that are like dog bones and are elongated over wider roadways and bridges – so they come in all kinds of designs, sizes and complexities.
It takes some familiarity to drive with confidence in Carmel. Sometimes, it is more difficult than with stoplights, but traffic tends to flow faster and there are many other benefits, including the reduction in fuel consumption by autos that are moving around the city.
Our walk with God is similar to driving in a roundabout. Sometimes, we are unfamiliar with the terrain and it seems difficult to navigate the twists and turns of our lives. We must pay attention to what is going on around us and learn how to interact with others along the way. I guess it is safe to say that we must stay hyper alert and learn to live our lives expecting God’s presence and His miracles on a daily basis. Paul and many other people in the Bible suffered through times when they didn’t feel God’s presence. Usually, these times were filled with stress and folks were preoccupied with their own troubles rather than turning to God for direction and confirmation.
One of the greatest examples of God’s affirmation of His presence was after the death of Moses when Joshua, the new leader of the Israelite nation, was getting ready to lead his people into the Promised Land. Joshua was concerned about his ability to lead the people on their journey and God showed up in a powerful way. Our verse for tonight highlights the words of God as Joshua took over his mission to lead the people to their new home.
We are told the words of God in Joshua 1:5-7, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous…” God goes on to tell Joshua several other times that he needs to be “strong and courageous.” But the most important part of the the whole message of God is something that we tend to glance over. And that is that God will be with Joshua – that He will never leave or forsake Joshua.
That goes for us as well. My encouragement tonight is that we can cling to the promise of God that He will be with us – God is always present. And He goes on ahead of us – never behind us. My prayer is that we will all make sure that we ask God for help in determining the right path – and sometimes it isn’t a straight line from one place to another. Never forget – God is always with us, even if it feels that it is in a roundabout kind of way… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…