Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Don't Get Hit By a Train

There is a railroad crossing on the road I take to get out to the main road from work. It's the first crossing after the station, so a few times a day, the train has to sit on the track for whatever reason---maybe it's waiting for the train to come the other way, or maybe it's early and has to wait to stay on schedule. I don't know. All I know is that if you're unlucky enough to hit it at just the wrong time, you can sit for up to 15 minutes, waiting for those gates to lift. Most people who work here are aware of this, and if you creep up and look, you can see the train just sitting at the station. Then you can just slide between the gates and cross the tracks. Everyone does it, except the bigger trucks or trucks with a trailer or a load...of which there are many where I work.

Well I hit it at just the wrong time the other day when I went out to the bank. In front of me was a garbage truck, a truck with a trailer, a small dump truck and a pickup. I knew 3 out of 4 of them weren't going anywhere. We sat for a few minutes, and then the dump truck (one of the ones I thought wasn't going anywhere) crept up, stopped, and wiggled around up and over the tracks. Then someone came the opposite way and did the same. I figured I could pass the remaining three and slip over the tracks (illegally, by the way...). The problem was, I didn't know how long the train had been sitting at the station. Sure, I might be able to get across fine. But what if the train decided to start moving as I was crossing? Just then a police car came up the opposite way...and drove around the gates! So much for being illegal. As soon as he came to the other side, the gates lifted.

There is a reason for those gates and the blinking lights. Maybe it's illegal, maybe it's not. But it really isn't safe. A person could get hit by a train. That's serious stuff! It's not fun to wait, but the other choice is just too risky. No one likes to waste time, but wasting your life is a lot worse.

As I waited, I thought of God's timing. How often do we take matters into our own hands when we have to wait? We circumvent the safety of God's gates, which are meant for our own protection. Even though we see the obstacle. Even though we hear the warning bells. The problem is, we see the train just sitting there at the station. Why isn't it moving? What's it waiting for? Instead of being patient and waiting for God's timing, which comes with God's blessing, we take the risk and move out on our own. The opportunity is there. Why wait?

Why wait? Because if the timing isn't right, you could get hit by a train. You may see it coming. You may be creeping over that line and just as you do, you see the train move...maybe you can escape the impending doom, but maybe you can't. Or you may not see it coming and you get blindsided or...what's the word when you get hit broadside---T-boned.

Nobody likes to wait, especially when you've been called to something. You're raring to go. You want to move! Your energy and excitement is high. You have ideas you want to implement. Your motivation is strong. You don't want to waste time by waiting for the gates to lift. But that's exactly when and why we need to wait. Getting hit by a spiritual or emotional train can have the same devastating effects as getting hit by a physical train, and can take just as long to recover.

If it's meant to be, it will still be there when you get across the tracks...safely. Stop. Look. Listen...Wait!

Blessings Along the Path (and tracks)

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