Tuesday, October 7, 2008

train tracks

So I was on my way to church yesterday and had a few stops to make along the way. I was trucking along, right on schedule when I hear a train whistle in the distance. At first, I panicked, thinking I would get stuck behind it but then realized the turn I needed to make was right before crossing the tracks (and I mean, literally, right before the tracks – we’re talking fifty feet or so). As I’m nearing my turn, I’m inwardly laughing because a bunch of cars are going to be stuck behind the train but not me. My laughter is short-lived because what I had failed to take into account was the fact that with my turn being so close to the train tracks, cars would be lined up, hindering me from turning (unless I wanted to be brave/stupid and drive in the oncoming lane to pass all the cars and hope no one was blocking the entrance – I decided to play it safe and stayed in line). Sitting in a line of cars, all temporarily suspending their lives and plans while unable to do anything but watch several tons of metal slowly crawl by, I grew more and more frustrated with each train car that seemed to inch past me. It didn’t seem fair to me that I was being held up simply because everyone else was at a standstill. While alternating pounding the steering wheel and wishing the train would just go on, a life lesson slowly settled over me, much to my dismay. I think we have similar “train track” experiences in life. Something looms in front of us, refusing to budge thus rendering us helpless. All we can do is stand there, mouth agape as we let fear sink its claws into us. Or maybe it’s a person standing in our way; someone who is determined to dig in his/her heel and not budge. It may even be that the obstacle isn’t even standing directly in our path but we’re ultimately affected, just like with me and the train. So what must we do? Will we allow what’s in front of us to completely derail us from what could be awaiting us just on the other side? Or will we hold tight until the train passes and then just cross the track?

My side of laughter is from The Far Side. This is one of my favorites.

1 comment:

  1. That is an interesting perspective -- the train that seems to blocking your progress is not actually for you, but for the person in front of you, and until they can get on with their life you can't get on with yours (even though you're not going in the same direction). Perish the thought! But also something to keep in mind.