I always love it when I discover the etymology of a word and today, as I am preparing for next week’s Bible study, I have discovered the origins of our word ‘to meander.’ This word means to wind or twist and is often used of a river, because it is named after the River Meander in Turkey, a river characterised by a very convoluted path along the lower reach. As a result, even in Classical Greece (and in later Greek thought) the name of the river had become a common noun meaning anything convoluted and winding, such as decorative patterns or speech and ideas, as well as the geomorphological feature.Strabo said: ‘…its course is so exceedingly winding that everything winding is called meandering.’[6
You may not find this particularly exciting, but it reminds me that life can seem very meandering, full of twists and turns, apparent dead-ends and unseen obstacles. We tend to think life should proceed in a straight line, rather like one of the motorways through the Netherlands which (according to Garry) are very boring! Unfortunately for those of us that like neat straight lines, life is not like this and we can spend what seems to us to be a disproportionate amount of time meandering. Perhaps, though, we need to be prepared to take the scenic route more often?!