I woke up this morning thinking of people as freight trains, some with a conductor (Jesus) some without. I have associations in my life that remind me of freight trains without a conductor. People that I would like to stop in their tracks and say do not continue to go it this way do not continue without Jesus. I watch and pray from a distance has they barrel down the tracks headed opposite of Jesus, opposite of the cross, why from a distance?
Freight trains without a conductor are oblivious to the things around them, people on the tracks. They are in their zone moving full speed ahead without a real care or concern for what may be in their path. They run through barricade after barricade, friend after friend, family member after family member never pausing to assess the damage only pausing for a refill when needed or when forced. They make empty promises say things like “I will never abuse you again,” “I will never go to jail again,” “I am going to do better,” and so on. Time and time again well-meaning friends and family members refill their tanks, get the train pointed in a better direction and hope, this time will be different. Statistics says sadly; it rarely ever is, different.
If you have never visited a prison, had a friend or family member close to you go to jail or abuse drugs/alcohol, you are blessed; all of the above apply to me. The last time I visited a relative in prison was in high school since then I have had multiple friends and family members incarcerated and have elected not to visit or write, why? I guess it that criminal feeling. They take your ID, search you, let you through and then the door slams behind you, and you are “locked down.” True, you are going to get to leave, you are just visiting; yet for that visitation period, there you are being guarded and watched. Those guns are real, and you do not know the surroundings at any moment it could go sour and then what. Letter writing is another story, the mere fact of sending mail to a place that can be opened and read on general principle, I think not.
My life as always had freight trains without conductors, to a certain degree I became accustomed to the behavior, wrote it off as normal. Then I woke up and realized that it is not normal. I can love people and pray for them and stay out of their line of fire. Choosing not to allow someone to abuse you is not choosing not to love them, David ran from Saul for a reason.
Freight trains with a conductor (Jesus) can be just as damaging. The controlling church leader, judgmental yet well meaning Christian friends. Those places where you wonder is the a church or a cult and where is Jesus? The freight trains that say, “God told me to tell you,” “If you do not do this or that you will not be blessed,” we all know the ones. The fact is God does not need to consult with anyone before He asks or instructs you or I to do anything, God did not go to Ruth’s sister-in-law before He used Ruth.
I realized that I am called to be faithful to the best of my ability and knowledge, not foolish, stupid or controlled by anyone be they “Christian,” Christian or not. I can plainly state, that life for me is challenging enough without remaining in the line of fire of freight trains gone astray.
All the above being said, I love all the freight trains in my life those with and without Jesus. I do not like all of their ways, they do not like all of mine, we are even…and none of us are perfect 🙂