Matthew 16:21-23

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Roundabout

Recalculating

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23

My first experience driving a “roundabout” was extremely disconcerting. Not only was it an unfamiliar European traffic pattern, but it took place in England, where drivers drive on the left side of the road and sit on the right side of the vehicle. A roundabout (also called a traffic circle) is a circular intersection in which road traffic flows in one direction, both clockwise and counterclockwise, around a central island. That’s where it gets confusing. In U.S. roundabouts, oncoming traffic travels in a clockwise direction but in England, with the vehicles on the left, oncoming traffic travels in a counterclockwise direction. Roundabouts are designed to make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists but only if one keeps several rules in mind, like yielding to drivers in the roundabout and never stopping while in the traffic circle.

Learning to recognize God’s activity in order to follow Him is central to a disciple. God’s method of leading is rarely predictable and unlike “Google Maps,” He does not always take us on the most direct or quickest route. Sometimes God takes us through roundabout experiences to get us to the place He desires us to be. Peter’s statement represented a spiritual roundabout. Note that “Jesus turned” as if He “turned about” and noted that Peter had not yielded to God and had stopped in the traffic circle. Jesus directed him to make a roundabout in his thinking. Following Christ can be confusing, especially when we have our own agendas and traditional ways of thinking. We must remember that God’s plans are spiritual while ours are often secular. Occasionally, He needs us to do a roundabout in the way we think and spiritually adjust our plans to His.