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When Trains Talk  

Freight trains are as common as cats—and for some, more preferable. 

Stepping off the commuter train I ride every day, I walked parallel to a freighter rolling toward the stock yards. With no fence between me and the goods-laden train just a few feet to my left, I chose my path carefully, intrigued by the sounds I was hearing.  Or not hearing.

A series of gondola cars eased past, eerily silent.  One could barely discern the press of their steel wheels on the rails.  Hardly a whoosh.

But other cars creaked.  Flat cars shuddered, tankers shrieked, while box cars groaned.  Some rumbled as if their metallic insides were fighting a rail car version of intestinal flu, their insides heaving and jangling.

I was immediately puzzled.  Why the extreme difference in sounds?  These train cars were all on the same track, heading the same direction, pulled by the same locomotive all traveling at the same speed. Why such disparity in the way they hugged the track?

I’m hardly a railroad expert  like my friend, or a physics teacher like my dad.  But after pondering the rolling stock for some time, I made the following basic observations :

  • The cars are not all built the same.
  • They each carry a different load.
  • They certainly don’t have the same amount of miles on them.

Forgive my over active imagination as I suggest there might be a spiritual analogy in this, ur...train of thought.

Sadly, I must confess, I sometimes look at people and wonder, Why is he making such a racket about that issue?  Why such noise over something so “small?”  Or—Why can’t she just deal with this quietly, minus all the moaning and groaning?   I’m sure you would never be so unspiritual and think those kinds of thoughts, would you?   😊

Turns out people share more in common with freight trains than you might think. Just like train cars…

  • People are not all built the same.
  • They each carry a different load.
  • They certainly don’t have the same amount of miles on them.

It's tempting to look at exteriors or circumstances or other visible triggers and presume we know what’s going on inside another person. But we don’t. Nor should we be consumed with guessing.

Our Heavenly Father has built us all differently. And we don’t carry the same load.  So some of us may at times come across like our insides are being jangled.  We may shudder or shriek or groan. 

Seems to me we need to give each other the grace to be who we’ve been built to be, carrying whatever burdens our Father has asked us to carry.  More than that, let’s remember the huge advantage we humans have over train cars.  We can actually help carry the loads our sisters and brothers are bearing. 

All aboard!  Next stop….the twin-cities of Grace and Mercy! 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

                                                                                --Galatians 6:2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016