Friday, 2 December 2011

The Irresistible Will of God and the Former Rothersthorpe Services

It was a strange and unsettling experience today at the Services Formerly Known as Rothersthorpe on the M1.

I was meeting a friend from Towcester there, with the intention of both going on to our Autumn Visit to Arbor Low. And for convenience in going on together, we agreed to meet at the Northampton Services, while for my personal convenience in going home, I was parking up at the southbound services.

I don't know if you know Northampton services? They're quite complex, what with the signs to the Swan Valley business park, and they're digging up another field for something else which looked quite interesting. And I was pondering to myself whether the bridge over the motorway at that services is for patrons and staff, or just for staff*.

So what with one thing and another my mind wandered. I paid insufficient attention to the signposts on the roundabout, and went down the slip road that leads back onto the M1. Too late, I realised I was on my way back towards Husborne Crawley.

For a moment, my mind failed me and I thought I was destined to drive all the way down to Junction 14 (Milton Keynes and Newport Pagnell), but then I realised that the services are at Junction 15A, and wondrously that meant I could do a U-ey, as I believe it's called, at J15. And I gave thanks to a loving God for saving me that long drive back to MK.

Which is an odd thing to do, when you think about it. Because surely in the ineffable foresight of an omniscient  Deity, God must have known that one day, that is exactly what I was going to do. When the clayfields of the Nene and Ouse valleys were being laid down, it was already written that I would do that very mindless bit of manoeuvring, but be saved from all that time wasted by the wonderful provision of an extra junction - subject, of course, to my own free will - which could still be foreseen in advance, such is the wonder of Providence. But was that extra junction put in for me? Was the Service Station put near Rothersthorpe, and not near Roade, specially so I could meet my friend at the appointed time?

I guess it's one for the philosophers. Maybe I was just lucky.

* It's just staff, if you're interested.


  1. Scarily, some of us remember life before Blue Boar built at Rothersthorpe... Clearly the preordination meant the services were built, rebuilt renamed etc only at the appointed time...

  2. Just out of interest, does this mean that Junction 15 was your pre-destination?

    OK, I'll fetch my coat...

  3. Ahh, the thought of an all day breakfast and a packet of wine gums, so much for free will.. ;)


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