Yesterday I was well enough to Take my grandson Joshua to the railway museum in St. John's. It was a great day.
Joshua has the love that most little men have for trains,so we spent a couple of happy hours looking at the exhibits and playing "pretend we are on a real train Pop!"
No problem!I have always loved trains.
When my brother and I were quite young we lived in St. John's where our father served in the Canadian Army. Every year when school let out dad would put us on the train by ourselves and send us to Glenwood for the summer.
What an adventure!
My uncle Eddie owned a hotel in Glenwood that he was preparing to open for business. When my father retired he would join Eddie in a partnership. Eventually we moved to Glenwood permanently.
Growing up in Glenwood meant you were surrounded by the trappings of a logging town.
It was a small town in the sixties: all gravel roads, lots of trees all around - which meant plenty of trails to our hideouts, swimming holes,and other places where young people would gather for baseball or field hockey.
There were trains. Lots of trains. Bowaters ran the logging there; there was a railway siding just west of Glenwood where wood trains would back up and move forward - back up again, so another train could load and there would be the shuffling of wood cars.
There was one track that ran through the middle of town,and an additional siding that ran across town right in front of Uncle Eddie's Place.
We had all kinds of adventures playing on the tracks and around the trains. I should add,doing things that we should not have even thought about. But, who could resist placing an old key or a dime on the track to see it flattened by the train? Empty boxcars or flatcars left on the siding for any more than a day or so became part of our daily playground.
Okay, that's enough. I could write chapters of train story memories. Maybe later.
There is one memory however that I do want to share,because it really has been part of my life through many rough times.
Our home was fairly close to the main line,and there was always an early morning train. The sound of the train whistle cutting through the silence of the early morning air would announce the arrival of the huge locomotive.The sound would get louder and louder,then quieter and softer as the diesel moved further away ,until the only thing you heard, was the click-click-- click-click rhythm of the wheels crossing the joins in the track.
We were all used to it.
I was so used to it, that the noise did not upset my rest or even wake me up fully . There was a message in the train: morning was on time,the promise of a new day had arrived,and all was well.
I would always settle back to sleep listening to the peaceful rhythm of the rails; click-click click-click, and feel content and safe in those moments.
It has always stayed with me. Many times I have relaxed by remembering those mornings,closing my eyes and listening....
I often meditate in the Night Watch.
It is not strange for me to wake in the early morning hours with something pressing on my spirit. I wake with an instantly busy mind as if an arriving noisy locomotive had roused me from sleep. I use those times to pray, to think - and allow God to speak to me. Then,when I am ready ,the peace of Christ comes.
A peace beyond my understanding,but one that is a very real part of who I am today.
Yesterday I shared some train stories with my beloved buddy Joshua.
We had a great day!
I had to pace myself,and was feeling very tired by the time we arrived home,but I thank the Lord for the day. It refreshed my memories for sure. Spending time listening to Joshua talk and chat was as good as any medicine.
It is good to meditate on God's matters when we are well. It builds a reserve in your soul that allows you to sense the Presence when things are going badly. It is hard to pray and meditate when you are in pain or hurting, so we should prepare ourselves by being present with God whenever we can. That is another reason why Church attendance, regular prayer,study and involvement with the Body of Christ is so important.
Last Saturday evening, I was literally on my knees in my bedroom in Gander,retching uncontrollably into a bucket. It hurt -I was miserable and incredibly depressed. Then,I felt the hand of a friend who was there to help. She placed a cold cloth on my neck. Then the hands of my wife,comforting and strong,were upon me and I knew that God was there. What comfort and reassurance I felt!
May God give us all the Grace to see,and receive Jesus in each other.
May our hearts be open to the the gift that each day is.
Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
May you be blessed this day by your trust in God.