Friday, October 24, 2008

Life is like...

Do any of you remember that old song, Life's Railway to Heaven? The words were always favorites of mine because I loved trains and railroads. The first verse states,

Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels; never falter, never quail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail

Last week I was at a writer's retreat in Chama, New Mexico where they have this awesome mountain railroad. The narrow gauge Cumbres & Toltec line is open for passengers part of the year, and the scenery the railline follows is incredible.

The train and the scenery reminded me of this great old song that I remember singing in church when I was a little girl. Coming from a railroad family, maybe that gave me a stronger connection with the song, but no matter the reason I found the analogy of life being like a mountain railroad to be a powerful thought.

We will go through steep grades and tunnels where the sunlight is blotted out. We will face challenges and obstacles that threaten our well-being and that of those we love. But through it all the faith we have in the engineer will see us through. And I suppose this is where I veer away from the song's words. The song talks about us being the engineer and Christ being the Conductor, while God is the Superintendent of the Station.

I don't believe I am the engineer of my journey. Furthermore, I don't want to be. I'm more comfortable being a passenger and letting God be the one in charge. He knows the perils and beauties we will endure on our journey. We need to trust that He is capable of driving the train, no matter the terrain or weather. He knows the course, and there is a great peace in that for me. In my version of the song, God is the Engineer, Jesus the Conductor and the Holy Spirit is the Brakeman.

Sometimes it's hard to sit back and let God be the engineer. Fear blocks our senses and we stand ready to abandon the train, or try to take over the controls or worse yet, redirect the route. I challenge you this week to stay in your seat and trust that the engineer is capable, and not only that, He has a wonderful journey for you with blessings in abundance that are yet to be revealed.

Tracie Peterson

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