Who Sits Next to You?

Train

Revelation 21:3-5
New International Version (NIV)

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”


THE STATION
By Robert J. Hastings
TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination–for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.
“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.
Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion–it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.
So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.
“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.


 

The Station was one of my father’s favorite pieces of writing and I certainly like it, but I must also tell you that I don’t agree with it. It’s one of those things that if you don’t really think about it, then it will sound good. The ideas of enjoying life, doing those things that will bring you pleasure, and not wasting your time on things past or future that will rob you of today. “What’s not to like about the sound of that?” But there’s a problem, Hastings was wrong. There is a Station. There is a final destination we all come to, if you believe in Christian theology. God has promised that “one day” He will dwell with us and from that point on all things will be made new. There is a station, a place where we all arrive. We either move forward with God or we are lost amid whatever is left.
I don’t want to be lost. I don’t want anyone to be left at the Station or on the train. To me, it’s all about who we ride with, rather than where we are going. Jesus rides the train and wants to ride with us. He wants to help us with all the details of getting to that station. If we’re riding with Him, then we get off at a special place, a glorious place. If not, well, I’m not sure where we’ll be. I do know that it’s not where we will want to be.
So while we’re all passengers on this train of life and Jesus shows up to punch our tickets. Let’s let Him. He’ll see that we get to that special Station. Write it down, it’s a promise.


Father,
Thank You for providing us with a train to ride and a destination to believe in. Between the time we board and the time we arrive, we hold out hope that Jesus rides these rails with us and that He will get us to the Station on time, with our tickets punched, and everything we will need in the next and final ride of our life.
Thank You, Lord!
Amen!