Friday, August 8, 2014

Resolution 9: Trains, Planes and Automobiles

"Death rides a fast camel" ~ Arab Proverb

 Or a lumbering train. 

Train Crossing, by Michael Roe

Today, I was preparing to leave work for lunch and a train was coming. Now, the railroad crossing above is right next to my office. It has no crossing guard or signal. It only has a sign that says railroad crossing, yield. Because there is no forced stoppage at this crossing, the train will sound a warning by blowing its horn. Cars are expected to slow and stop. That would be common sense, right? 

I shook my head in amazement as three different vehicles ignored the bellowed warnings and crossed directly in front of the train. Here you have an engine with tons of steel behind it, bearing down on this crossing, at less than 100 feet - and cars kept going. The horn was sounding the warning, but no one cared to listen. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The train rumbled by and careless drivers journeyed on. 

But carelessness in the face of impending death isn't always so fortunate. This past week in my home town, a young man was killed by an early morning train. This 16 year old gambled and lost. Now his family will mourn his passing; his life cut short.    

Train Car, by Michael Roe
Death is like a train and people are like a car stopped on the tracks. Except this train will stop for no one. The horn blares its warning, the ground shakes underfoot, sparks fly. The warning is sounded. The question is, will you listen? 

Proverbs says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death" (Proverbs 16:25). In the context of proverbs, this "way" is the path of the fool or wicked person. This person hears the sound of wisdom crying out "life!" but fails to hear. The train of death hurtles toward this foolish person, and in their carelessness they fail to listen to its repeated warnings.

But there is a way off the tracks. Just like carelessness in the face of a train brings death, a healthy fear of the same train will preserve life. Fear makes your otherwise frozen feet move.

    "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
    turning people away from the snares of death" (Proverbs 14:27)

Death is coming for all. Fear God and live. Seek Him while he may be found (Isaiah 55:6). The train thunders its warning. Will you listen?