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October 23, 2021

Ann Farabee column: The roundabout

By Ann Farabee

I don’t remember when. I don’t remember where. I don’t remember how.

But I do remember that I had no idea what to do.

It was — the roundabout.

I hate that my parents did not live to enjoy roundabouts. My dad would have gone all the way around one several times, just for fun. My mother, on the other hand, would definitely slow traffic down. Driving 5 mph would not have been fast enough.

What good are roundabouts?

Experts say:

• They slow us down.

• There is one way travel.

• They are safer.

• They improve traffic flow.

• They require yielding to others.

• We won’t be tempted to beat the stoplight, because there aren’t any.

I just about had roundabouts tackled until I came across three in a row.

Three roundabouts and my equilibrium do not go well together.

But, obviously there is a purpose for them. I mean — they are in the Bible, right?

You know — where Psalm 34:7 says that the angel of the Lord encamps roundabout his people forever.

As for camping, it has never been my favorite thing to do.

The daytime is fabulous — but the nights — not so much.

My last time in a tent overnight was on a trip to the mountains with around 100 members of our church. At dark, we would gather around the campfire to sing, testify, talk and roast marshmallows.

Then tent time came.

Sleep did not.

It was too dark to sleep.

My eyes opened. My eyes closed.

It looked the same — dark.

What were those noises? Everyone was asleep — I could hear them snoring.

What is that? Have you ever heard an owl? The screeching was horrendous.

Why is everyone still snoring?

What is that? Something brushed by our tent — on my side, of course.

Not only did I hear it — I felt movement against the side of the tent.

No doubt. It had to be a bear.

I then chose to stay awake all night to listen for bear noises, so I could scream to alert everyone, if needed.

If only I had remembered this important information about camping:

The angel of the Lord was encamping roundabout me.

To encamp means to settle in and establish. Roundabout means you go in one direction around the center.

The angel of the Lord encamps round about us, settles in, and establishes himself in our life situations, as we head in one direction toward our heavenly home — to be with Jesus forever.

Some times — some days — some long dark nights — we may not feel that the protection he gives us while he is encamping roundabout us will be enough.

But, when we doubt, we may just need to read on to the end of Psalm 34:7.

The end of the verse says that God delivers us!

God’s promise from God’s word brings victory — every time.

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