Monday, September 29, 2014

Lessons From A Train

I've always enjoyed counting train cars. For as far back as I remember, I've been glad to get stopped at train tracks. I can't explain it necessarily, but I enjoy seeing the types of cars, watching the train blaze (or sometimes crawl) past, and observing the sometimes awesome sometimes terrible graffiti. I count the train cars if I am stopped from the start of the train, otherwise I just checkout the graffiti.

Tonight, I was stopped by a train. 99 cars. The train passed by, start to finish, in less than 5 minutes. My eyes were literally blurred when the last car passed by. I almost couldn't blink because of the speed. And it got me thinking. Where was the train headed? Was the conductor just ready to get home, or were they running behind schedule? How far had that train traveled? Obviously the train cars were empty, but what had it carried or what was it about to carry? And then I thought about myself. When people look at me and my life, are they happy to stop and observe or am I an inconvenience? Do I present people with a breath of fresh air and a chance to breathe or are they just ready for me to move on? Am I weighted down with 99 things on my mind and passing by my surroundings too fast to take it all in? Do I groan under the weight of life like train wheels sometimes grind when the cars are full?

I want people to enjoy my presence. I want to be a refreshing break in people's day, rather than an inconvenience. I want to enjoy my surroundings instead of racing all over and missing the scenery of life. I don't want to be so weighted down by the cars of busyness, selfishness, to-do lists, etc that I emit a squealing groan of "I'm so tired." "I'm so busy." when people ask how I am. I want my life to be covered in incredible graffiti made up of joy, love, forgiveness, happiness, lessons learned, hope, and faith.

What kind of train are you? Next time you get stopped by a train, think about your response. Can you see the beauty in being stopped by the train or are you irritated? And then take it a step further - if you were the train, would you be blazing by causing a blur of busyness as the after effect? Or do you take in the surroundings? Are you covered in awesome "graffiti" - love, hope, forgiveness? Or does your graffiti look more like stick figures of bitterness and selfishness?

(All images from here)