It’s one of the worst things to hear on the news, when we’re told that a train carrying passengers veers off its track and wrecks, with multiple injuries and fatalities. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does…  There are all sorts of investigations into the personnel that run the train, the mechanics of the train itself, and the tracks beneath it.  Those investigations continue until the problem is discovered, so that a disaster like that won’t happen again!

I’ve veered off the tracks many times, haven’t you?  I’m going along in life at a fast pace, only to come to a turn in the tracks and completely derail in my faith, and come to a crashing halt! It’s then that I analyze what made me veer off the track in the first place.  And it’s often the same three things that cause real trains to roll over and stop:

The personnel that run the train

When I allow the Conductor to run things, I stay on track.  In other words, when I consult his word, rest in his promises, cast my cares onto him, and offer praises of love and adoration for his mercy and goodness, my life train stays on track.  It’s when I move up through the cars into the conductor’s cab and take charge, thinking I know a better way to go, when the veering starts to occur.  That attitude and action never fares well for me, or for those on board with me.  It happens when I panic about decisions and worries and wants, and I decide to “make” things happen my way.  It’s never good to ask the conductor to step aside…so that I (the passenger) can drive.  That’s not how trains run…

The mechanics of the train

I find that when I’m tired, everyone needs to stay away.  And often, I’m tired because of my own choosing.  Other times, I just haven’t slept well and I end up grumpy.  Tired people don’t make wise decisions, they don’t speak nicely, and they just cannot function at a good capacity.

This is when things start to break down, like communication with our spouses.  Tiredness is never a good predecessor to conversation with our spouse or anyone close to us.  It causes us to tune out, sputter annoyances, and lash out accusations.  This then makes our train veer and start rolling off track.  Yikes!

The tracks beneath

Imagine the train, dependent on well laid tracks, coming to a breakage in the iron below it.  This will definitely send the train off track and into who knows where – causing all kinds of damage to the train, the travelers, and those nearby.  Train tracks have to be maintained and cared for, and noticed, and replaced.  The tracks beneath me are my foundation.  I’ve found that foundations crumble when they’re based on speculation, emotion, or hype.  So I have to continually take up those shoddy pieces and replace them with faith, hope, and love.  Each joint of the track has to be secured with those bolts that hold the track beneath me together. Otherwise, I’m going down.

I don’t like to drive behind a person that veers on the highway.  Often, it’s because they’re distracted with their phone, they’ve drank a little too much, or they’ve driven too long and need to pull over to rest.  And I certainly don’t want to be the one that veers.  Our new car has a beep system built in that reminds us if we barely start to cross the line into danger. 

I have a beep system too, in my own life, and that’s the Holy Spirit.  He always gently nudges me back on track, if I’m awake enough to feel it and respond.  And when I do, it’s a clear ride to a safe destination.  And there’s nothing more fun than a train ride through the mountains, across bridges, next to deep lush valleys and through tall stately trees, and then arriving safe and sound having had the ride of a lifetime.

Makes me want to book a train ride…how about you?

He Draws Near
Simple Things
The Real Stuff
On Track
by Marcy Lytle

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