Come On Ride the Train


When I first heard I was riding the train, I protested. 

I took a day off work and while I was gone my colleagues decided that it would be fun to take a 20-minute ride on the commuter train and have breakfast a few stops down the tracks from our office.

I don’t think train rides are fun. 

I’m not much of a public transit rider unless I’m in a city where I’m forced to use it. I’ve taken the subway in New York and ridden the MARTA in Atlanta. I even rode the train when I was in Italy last summer. 

But Orlando is new to the commuter train game. 


The train debuted last year with much fanfare. A renovated station from the olden days of train travel sits on my company's campus so I've driven by it for years and always wondered what it looked like inside.

I guess now I’d get my chance to not only see the historic 1920s station but to ride the train for the breakfast whistle-stop tour I was being invited {coerced?} to take.

It would seem as if riding the train would be a good fit for me since driving new places makes me anxious and parking difficulties stress me out.

But maybe I just don’t like giving up control of my journey.  

{You too?}



I try to remember that when God invites us to come with him and join him on this journey of life, it can turn out to be the ride of our lives.

Even though I'm not sure of the direction we’re traveling or where we’ll stop or how long we’ll be staying. 

And I don’t know exactly when we’ll gather steam to get moving again or if we’ll unexpectedly screech to a halt. 

But all I have to do is get on board, settle into my seat, and enjoy the ride. 

Except that's not so easy because there's still a lot of activity required in those words: board, settle, enjoy.


I'm learning it's less about looking for what God’s going to do for me, and more about traveling with the one who goes with me on this passage, through every season, no matter what it brings.

Sometimes the most brave thing we can do is follow and yield, instead of insisting that we make our own way.

Even if it looks as if we don't know what we're doing or worse, that we look foolish when we tell our friends that we're at a temporary stop and we're waiting on God.




Maybe you feel as if your life's journey is stalled in the middle of the tracks.

Or maybe your life is traveling at such a breakneck speed, you're afraid you’ll miss the next stop.

Maybe your life feels more like a train wreck than a joy ride.

Or maybe it seems as if you’ve missed your train since it’s long ago left the station without you and you're still standing there holding your suitcase because you aren't sure what else to do.

But take heart, because we have God's word that he is always with us on this journey of life.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deut. 31:8



When I rode the train last summer in Milan, I couldn't help but notice the giant sewing needle with three colorful strands of thread standing in the center of their Metro system symbolizing the train lines {and the fashion industry} that connect the city.

But I didn't realize the second part of the sculpture was a knot located a little further away. It wasn't even in the picture.

Isn't that an image of our journey through life? 

Just as a needle and thread can't create clothing without the knot that secures all the stitches yet to come, our lives need God who holds all the threads of our lives, creating our beautiful stories. 


So as I'm on the train with my colleagues, I spot the big green coffee shop sign just ahead as I get off to have breakfast.

We stay a while, eat breakfast sandwiches and drink coffee, then head back to the station to catch the next train back to the office. 

I think I'm on the right track.

Or I can at least ride the rails with this train of thought. 





I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join me there for more posts from my blogger friends!





Comments

  1. We took our kids to Boston for the fun and experience of riding the T, and your lovely metaphors really resonate for me as a result. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Michele,
      Oh Boston would be lovely for a train ride -- sounds a lot more fun than my ride!

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  2. This is fascinating, Valerie, since we just did a little train jaunt here at the Cape last Friday ... kind of a tourist-y thing, but very fun! I love a good train ride, but seldom get to journey on metal wheels.

    My favorite was in Alaska a few years back ... what glory to see the countryside up close. And I do remember subway rides in NYC as a little girl.

    When it was relatively safe ...

    ;-}

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    1. Linda,
      Now a train ride through Alaska actually does sound fun! I can only imagine the beautiful scenery -- and it would seem (in my imagination) to be a scene from a movie!

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  3. SO this line literally and figuratively stopped me in my tracks...

    Sometimes the most brave thing we can do is follow and yield, instead of insisting that we make our own way.

    I've been leaning hard into the verse in Luke 9... deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me... So your post was like a divine confirmation. And the sewing needle and knot sculpture from Milan, well I had to go look that up!-- and I'm in love with the words you connected to the imagery...♥ So thankful for God who is the tie that binds us and for the crossing of our paths. xoxo

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    1. Heather,
      Yes, you would have loved that sewing needle in Milan! (And that photo is actually one my mother took -- I never thought to take a photo of the needle or the knot!!) And I loved your pun that a line stopped you in your tracks -- you are so clever! :) But I'm with you -- putting ourselves to the background so God can move and work through us -- I'm not sure how or why he does it, but I'm grateful he does! xo

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  4. Valerie your post just touched my heart today. Yes, our life is a journey and God truly knows the best route for us. We just have to jump on board, let Him take over, settle down and enjoy the ride. I do not know what my next stop on my journey will be but I am trusting Him all the way through. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog post! Blessings xxx

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    1. Hi Natasha,
      Thanks so much for visiting! Trusting is such a character-builder, isn't it? But how else would we get to know God differently if it weren't for circumstances that put us in a tight spot or stalled place? Those of us who do, get to experience the inexplicable peace and power and love of God that surrounds us!

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  5. "I try to remember that when God invites us to come with him and join him on this journey of life, it can turn out to be the ride of our lives." Oh this. Thank you for reminding me of this precious thought today! I heard God say something very similar to me several years ago, and one of the results from that time was taking a trip to Vietnam with my new daughter-in-law! That was surely not a ride that I would ever have expected to take, but what a blessing it turned into! I needed this reminder for today's Season-Shifting Time also. So thank you for sharing God's Heart with all of us today! *Hugs!*

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    1. Hi Bettie,
      I'd love to hear about your trip to Vietnam -- what an adventure that must have been! Leaning into what God has for us during a season is difficult and challenging but what a treasure is found when we do -- I'm trying to remember this truth, too! xo

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  6. Such an insightful analogy, Valerie. It is hard to give up our own control in the journey, isn't it? This line really strikes me - "I'm learning it's less about looking for what God’s going to do for me, and more about traveling with the one who goes with me on this passage, through every season, no matter what it brings." So true. I absolutely love the needle photo and analogy, too! You write so creatively and with so much wisdom, my friend. Thank you for sharing this. I also love the Deut verse! Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Trudy,
      Always grateful for your insightful comments! Just saying those words written in Deuteronomy cloak us in peace and rest, don't they?! I love it too!

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  7. :) Being claustrophobic, I'm not sure how it is that I don't mind trains...but, we went from NC to NYC/DC and from NC to Orlando, by train, a few years ago. :) Sounds like you ended up having a fun time after all. :) Good to see you, glad we're neighbors today. :)

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    1. Brenda,
      I can relate! I feel somewhat captive when I'm on a train or bus (I guess that's because I am!) but your trip to Orlando sounded like fun! Glad we're neighbors too! :)

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  8. Haha! I can relate to your not wanting to be taken along on a journey not of your choosing. So, was it fun? Love the analogies.
    Patti

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    1. Patti,
      Fun is a strong word to describe it -- but it was okay! :)

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  9. Hi Valerie - What a good post- I too get anxious driving new places and parking- so the train sounded nice to me- better than getting lost or stressing about parking etc. Although the train would cause me other worries too-I love all the images of travelers and our journeys. Thanks for making all the different variations seem ok- I sometimes fret about where I am on my journey with God and why it doesn't look like someone else's! Also it was very touched because I just read that verse this morning! Thanks for sharing your heart and Gods heart today! xoxo

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    1. Hi Susie,
      That encouraging verse is one of my favorites! I'm with you about driving and parking so you'd think I should like taking public transportation instead! (Go figure!) Travelers and journeys are fascinating and inspiring -- we're all one, don't you think? xo

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  10. Follow and yield. I'm not so good at those!
    Glad you went and gave it a try!

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    1. Sarah,
      Me too! I think that's why I keep getting opportunities to follow and yield! :)

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  11. "Even if it looks as if we don't know what we're doing or worse, that we look foolish when we tell our friends that we're at a temporary stop and we're waiting on God."

    Yikes girl. This post was so timely. Doors to our home and stuff got shut recently, so we have been in a state of hallway praying again. When it seems we get on our feet, we get knocked down. But I know the Bible says a righteous man gets back up...

    God bless you, Valerie and thanks for being a vessel today whom God spoke through.

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    1. Hi Me,
      I can relate to hallway praying! I hope that new doors open in your house situation!

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  12. My life is currently running at warp speed but I pray every night to make sure I don't miss the stop. This was such an amazing read and one I really needed to hear. For some strange reason, I always feel like you know what I need to hear when I need to hear it so thank you for that Valerie. Thank you for continuing to be an amazing blogger.

    Kia / KTS
    www.houseofkts.com

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    1. Kia,
      I'm so grateful for your words of encouragement! We're all traveling somewhere, don't you think? Some of us slowly, some quickly (as the season you're in) and it's hard to adjust our perspectives to align with where we're at. Thinking of you!

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    2. You are so right Valerie :). You're really an inspiration to all who come here. I know I'm a life long fan.

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  13. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement. Something my heart needed to hear today. This especially: "Even if it looks as if we don't know what we're doing or worse, that we look foolish". Yes, it really is about following and yielding...and I'm not always so great at that...but God's teaching me, patiently. Thank you for reminding us that He will never leave us through it all.

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    1. Anna,
      Thank you so much for these kind words! I'm so grateful for his promise too that he is with us through it all -- so glad you stopped by today!

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  14. I'm glad the train ride turned into a great and insightful post. Minus the swaying on the top of the train, I enjoyed our great adventure! Miss you all!

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    1. Your cube is gathering dust {it is temporarily being called The Factory, Part Deux, named by Krista!} but I can only imagine that your new season holds greater adventures than a train (travel?!) :)

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