On the Road Inspirations: Roundabouts

by Sister Julie Ann on February 14, 2009

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Vocation Directors offer the second of a series of img_4812_edited-1.jpgOn the Road Inspirations’ gleaned from their experiences. Sharings from other travelers are welcome.

Francis: In whatever way it seems better to you to please the Lord God and to follow His footprint and poverty do it with the blessing of the Lord God and my obedience. And if you need and want to come to me for the sake of your soul or for some consolation, Leo [your name], come.(Letter to Brother Leo)

Scenario of the Roundabout

In your personal journey, is your spiritual life resembling a roundabout?

A google search reveals that roundabouts are statistically safer than traditional intersections.

ipod.jpgSpirituality is like an inner GPS. It is unique to each person and it calls for specific ways of relating to the world ‘around’ us. There is safety and comfort in praying with a sense of direction and in a certain way i.e. specific prayers, using scripture, adoration, prayers of intercession and gratitude. This assurance leads to choosing a path for growth in our relationship with God and others.

Roundabouts allow u-turns, which are often impossible or forbidden in normal road junctions.

uturn.jpgOur relationship with God is all about a movement to go deeper. This free flowing “intermingling of public and personal prayer…is how we speak to God and how God speaks to us. In this way we undergo those purifications by which we become open to God and are prepared for the service of our fellow human beings. We become capable of the great hope and thus we become ministers of hope for others.” (#34 On Christian Hope, Pope Benedict XVI)

Those entering the roundabout are required to yield to traffic. This yielding moves others through an intersection with less delay. It also accommodates the turning radius of large vehicles.

yield.jpgOur journey to God includes other people. It is vision that moves us beyond self-interest and self-concern. There is no end to our waiting, desiring and searching for God/others. This relationship with God/others leads us in a variety of directions and will continue as long as we live.

Spiritually and physically a traveler who is indecisive may end up on a path going no where, dizzy and out of sorts with life. (Keep watching the slideshow and you’ll get a good taste of what this means!) Stop when you find yourself in this kind of situation.  Seek guidance. Learn some decision making skills.

Can you add any other helpful contrasts or comparisons on roundabouts, the spiritual life etc. ?

8 thoughts on “On the Road Inspirations: Roundabouts”

  1. I so appreciate the insight of our need for others as we travel this journey of life with God.

    The experience of seeing something only “one way” will cause me to go in circles without knowing how to find a way out…

    Sharing with a close friend, spiritual guide, teacher, or parent gives me options I had not realized (directions leading out of the circle). So even though I circle around and around I do come to find another way to relate, or pray or view a situation! (Maybe it means going west!)

  2. How about ‘Going North’? Someone recently told us to check out a song by that name!

    In whatever direction we go, I’ve heard it best to do two things:
    Do what you need most to do.
    Do what the world most needs.

  3. Sister Pat Sevcik says:

    While viewing this site, the “yield” sign prompted me to think about that posture or behavior as helpful in prayer and life. It reminded me of the value of taking time to slow down, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and then, to be willing to do God’s will. We “yield” to each other when givng someone the right-of-way, nodding with respect for the person, allowing someone go through first and offering to help someone to carry a burden. These gestures may seem “roundabout”, but they actually bring us where we want to be, always present to Jesus in our lives, loving as Jesus loves.

  4. Sara says:

    If there is anything I’ve learned as I continue to experience life is that I have very little control over the course of my journey. There are small situations I can control, but some of the seemingly smallest decisions I’ve made lately have led to huge changes. I just never know and frankly waste a lot of time trying to predict or manipulate what is generally out of my control. So as far as roundabouts go…I’m just rolling along on the love train.

  5. Sara, thanks for sharing your own wisdom on the road. Feel free to come back and comment again.

    The Archdiocese of Milwaukee must be feeling like they are on a ’roundabout’ today with the appointment of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to begin new ministry in New York. His call has led to further change in the lives of the faithful south of us.

    Sara, your line about not spending a lot of time predicting or manipulating what is generally out of our control is a point well made. Let us be grateful in our journey that there is a constant in life–Jesus Christ. And let us help each other believe that the Holy Spirit is with us in the bright and darkest spots on the road of life.

  6. Sr. Delores Wisnicky says:

    I like that—Jesus is our constant, on this journey of life. There are roundabouts that we don’t quite expect. Today, my students and I were talking about Lent—the time of a Spiritual Workout. We looked at being physically strong first and then made comparisons for our inner life. Jesus is our Coach, we need to listen to Him. We had an energized discussion on being a team player, giving God our best, and the discipline of getting rid of bad habits. Lent is the soul’s springtime, time for new life and new growth.
    May the Lord lead us where He wants to take us…

  7. Sister Rosangela says:

    Lent is certainly a time to YIELD or give others the right of way. I need to listen to others in conversation, letting them speak and really listening to what they are saying. I need to listen to God and let Him direct my day. Sometimes we plan everything out, what we are going to do for Lent. Then someone comes along or a situation arises in which I must YIELD my way of doing something. God is still directing the traffic even in a ROUNDABOUT.

  8. Sister Adrianna says:

    What a marvelous and so practical way to reflect on life and spirituality. Will make me think about more than the road signs when I travel. God is always present and this will help keep that alive in me.

    God bless you with safe travels.

    Sister Adrianna

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