Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Trains Of Thought
I live near the railroad tracks in a Nashville suburb. Every night I hear the low wondering blare of a train whistle and the clacking of the wheels on the tracks. I love those sounds. It reminds of me of being home and going places, of the routine of everyday life and adventures in Europe.
My travels taught me many interesting things. Certain sounds and smells still trigger the memories. In my youth I once sat knee to knee with strangers on a Polish train. That was awkward. I could swear it smelled like sausage. I was too queasy to investigate and did I really want to know the answer? The next ride I took was the overnight train to Florence, Italy. I must have read too many spy novels because I talked my fellow travelers into sleeping with the window open so thieves couldn’t put sleeping gas in our car. Umm…what???...Why these kind hearted foreigners listened to me I’ll never know. Perhaps they thought it was safer to indulge the crazy girl than to distress her into a psychotic fit on a moving train. I felt personally victorious when I woke up the next morning freezing but un-robbed with my money still pinned to my underwear. Ha! Take that you thieves …except don’t actually take it especially while it’s pinned to the undies. I forgot about that last high tech security measure until it was time to pay for breakfast. ….Again with the awkward moments on a lamebrain’s train.
The trains that go by my house only carry cargo so they don’t have a strict schedule. I never know when I will hear that whistle blow but I always sleep better after I’ve heard it. During the recent floods the railroad tracks were damaged so there were no trains for several weeks. It was eerily quiet. Amazing how much I missed a jolting whistle in the blankness of night. Like the voice of my old friend that grew silent, I missed the familiarity. The loss of both put a hole in my night like a girl that missed her train.
There are no locomotives in the Bible, but there are trains of people lined up to follow the cloud of God through a wilderness. The most vivid train of people that come to mind is the one that passes through the Narrow Gate to the Kingdom of God as told in the book of Matthew. It describes this gate as small enough for only one at a time. It is mostly misunderstood as being narrow minded but the beauty in that story is that everyone has to walk through on their own choice and not dragged by someone else nor sneaking through without making their own commitment. Each one in a train of people taking their turn to step closer to God. Once you give your heart to the Lord of Creation then it opens up sounds of the familiar calling you home and new trains of thoughts will guide you in the night.