Train Conductor God


As I write this, I'm sitting at the bar facing the windows of my favorite coffee shop. I love the open feel of the place, the light streaming in from the street, the white and wood detail with the little cream colored lights trailing around the banister of the upper level of tables. It's a peaceful place and they never bother you if you are here and haven't bought anything. For someone like me who can't afford to buy a drink every time I come in, it's a definite "selling" point. Outside the rain is falling and people are making their way here and there, maybe shopping for a new pair of red shoes, searching for a good Thai restaurant, or, like me, merely needing to be out in community without actually talking to anyone. It all puts me in a reflective train of thought. Where the train is going I cannot say; I just know I'm on it.

This train has been in my life for a while now. I call it the train of change and God is the train conductor. I know I'm on the train, I know it's chugging along the tracks, but I have little idea as to where it's headed. It's a hard place to live in - the unknown. There are more questions than answers and I have no reply to those who ask them. But being on the train, not having the answers, is sure making me ask a lot more questions, ones I have not been willing to ask or to consider answers I would have never believed to be true. It's a scary train to be riding on for this journey is made up of nothing but trust.

During the ride, we learn a new paradox as we realize all at the same time how much power we hold in our lives and how little control we possess. We learn of the power we hold to make our own choices and are at the same time surprised when the winds of change blow through our lives whether or not we have invited them in. We are simply left with the question of which wind shall we sail into? It has been said that destinations are where we begin again and isn't that so true? We think we have reached the end of a journey and instead of returning, which you can never really do after a journey, we begin a new one. We are are asked to reboard the train. We dedicate our lives to one thing and then find it falling through our fingers only leaving a trace of memory with the whispered inquiry, "Now what?"

Throughout our lives, things change; we change, sometimes without warning. Our lives change. The question I'm asking now and the question I find so many of us asking, is what are our lives changing into? What is the new normal? (But believe me, as soon as we get comfortable with the new normal, things will change again.) Our lives are not meant to be static, they are meant to change. A plant cannot stay in the same pot , a river does not stay stagnantly in a pool. The plant grows, stretching out its roots, and the river changes its course, it alters the environment in which it passes and flows on to new places. We are much the same. However much I hate to admit it, I like change and I don't like change. Change appeals to me when I'm tired of the ruts yet it's really hard to let some of those ruts go. Sometimes I hold onto the ruts because I see them as a rock to hold onto, something that won't change. They are my security. But then a couple of weeks ago, God asked me if I love the ruts and the rocks more than I love him. Ouch. That question hit home. Do I trust in the security of relationships and place more than I trust in God's love and desire for me to grow and learn? Do I want the lights in my life more than I want to be a light?

So I sit on the train with all these unknowns, trying to enjoy their company but really struggling with having them around as traveling companions. They aren't the comforting or even kind companions I would have picked given the choice, but the selection wasn't mine. We never know who and where our growth will come from, we never know where the train will go. Whether to get on the train or not was the choice God gave me. Do I preserve my security and stifle my growth and the light I could be or do I let go of my grip and free-fall into the arms I know are waiting for me somewhere down below? As many times as God has caught me before, I am still nervous about where the train is going. I want a ticket with where we're headed and a map so I can follow along on the way. But that is not the choice God gives us with change. He stands by the steps to the train inviting us to board. He asks for our trust, probably because we would not be ready for the answer yet. But to get there, we have to get on the train without knowing which direction we're going. It is one of the most courageous things we do. Yet somehow I believe it is always worth it in the end. When God himself is the conductor, what else could it be? He respects us. He loves us. He knows exactly how to help us get where we need to go. The train of change is a good place to be.



I love the meaning in this song.

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Walking the Sea: Train Conductor God

Monday, February 1, 2010

Train Conductor God


As I write this, I'm sitting at the bar facing the windows of my favorite coffee shop. I love the open feel of the place, the light streaming in from the street, the white and wood detail with the little cream colored lights trailing around the banister of the upper level of tables. It's a peaceful place and they never bother you if you are here and haven't bought anything. For someone like me who can't afford to buy a drink every time I come in, it's a definite "selling" point. Outside the rain is falling and people are making their way here and there, maybe shopping for a new pair of red shoes, searching for a good Thai restaurant, or, like me, merely needing to be out in community without actually talking to anyone. It all puts me in a reflective train of thought. Where the train is going I cannot say; I just know I'm on it.

This train has been in my life for a while now. I call it the train of change and God is the train conductor. I know I'm on the train, I know it's chugging along the tracks, but I have little idea as to where it's headed. It's a hard place to live in - the unknown. There are more questions than answers and I have no reply to those who ask them. But being on the train, not having the answers, is sure making me ask a lot more questions, ones I have not been willing to ask or to consider answers I would have never believed to be true. It's a scary train to be riding on for this journey is made up of nothing but trust.

During the ride, we learn a new paradox as we realize all at the same time how much power we hold in our lives and how little control we possess. We learn of the power we hold to make our own choices and are at the same time surprised when the winds of change blow through our lives whether or not we have invited them in. We are simply left with the question of which wind shall we sail into? It has been said that destinations are where we begin again and isn't that so true? We think we have reached the end of a journey and instead of returning, which you can never really do after a journey, we begin a new one. We are are asked to reboard the train. We dedicate our lives to one thing and then find it falling through our fingers only leaving a trace of memory with the whispered inquiry, "Now what?"

Throughout our lives, things change; we change, sometimes without warning. Our lives change. The question I'm asking now and the question I find so many of us asking, is what are our lives changing into? What is the new normal? (But believe me, as soon as we get comfortable with the new normal, things will change again.) Our lives are not meant to be static, they are meant to change. A plant cannot stay in the same pot , a river does not stay stagnantly in a pool. The plant grows, stretching out its roots, and the river changes its course, it alters the environment in which it passes and flows on to new places. We are much the same. However much I hate to admit it, I like change and I don't like change. Change appeals to me when I'm tired of the ruts yet it's really hard to let some of those ruts go. Sometimes I hold onto the ruts because I see them as a rock to hold onto, something that won't change. They are my security. But then a couple of weeks ago, God asked me if I love the ruts and the rocks more than I love him. Ouch. That question hit home. Do I trust in the security of relationships and place more than I trust in God's love and desire for me to grow and learn? Do I want the lights in my life more than I want to be a light?

So I sit on the train with all these unknowns, trying to enjoy their company but really struggling with having them around as traveling companions. They aren't the comforting or even kind companions I would have picked given the choice, but the selection wasn't mine. We never know who and where our growth will come from, we never know where the train will go. Whether to get on the train or not was the choice God gave me. Do I preserve my security and stifle my growth and the light I could be or do I let go of my grip and free-fall into the arms I know are waiting for me somewhere down below? As many times as God has caught me before, I am still nervous about where the train is going. I want a ticket with where we're headed and a map so I can follow along on the way. But that is not the choice God gives us with change. He stands by the steps to the train inviting us to board. He asks for our trust, probably because we would not be ready for the answer yet. But to get there, we have to get on the train without knowing which direction we're going. It is one of the most courageous things we do. Yet somehow I believe it is always worth it in the end. When God himself is the conductor, what else could it be? He respects us. He loves us. He knows exactly how to help us get where we need to go. The train of change is a good place to be.



I love the meaning in this song.

Labels: , ,

1 Comments:

At February 1, 2010 at 10:05 PM , Anonymous Deanna said...

It's all unknowns/invitations. God is maddeningly adventursome and patient at the same time.

And he never moves on from me/you to someone else that's more readily willing to board. He's always eager to have me/you join and doesn't leave us behind when we're ready.

 

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