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Timothy Griffin: Looking Up

Trains and Pains

(Timothy Griffin)
September 7, 2012

train.jpgSeveral months ago, I was driving home from a week-long trip. As I arrived in a particular town, located about an hour from my home, I noticed a train rolling along on the tracks beside me. I rode along with this train from that point on for about the next 45 miles. As the tracks meandered, sometimes it was closer to me than other times. With a quiet and empty car, my mind mused on where the train might be going. Finally, I turned onto a connecting highway and I wasn’t able to see the train anymore – out of sight, out of mind.  

Simultaneously, I had been talking to my wife along the way. Earlier in my drive, she reminded me that she was going to a seminar that night and that two of our three sons were going with her.

Based on the time she was leaving and the time I calculated I would arrive, I knew I might get a chance to see them before they left, but it would be close. As I got about five minutes from the house, I called. She was still there waiting on her ride. I said to myself, “yes, I’m going to make it.”

I got off on my exit and looped around, only to see a line of cars, blinking red lights and to hear the sound of a train whistle. It only took me a moment to realize that though I still didn’t know where that train was going, I knew where it was now -- blocking my way.

Thankfully my train presented only a brief cause to pause. But, often, there are metaphorical trains of temptation that we drive upon in our lives.  Unfortunately, we are similarly content to ride along beside them. Our rational is that these “trains”, though potentially dangerous, aren’t causing us any problem because there is a safe distance between us. Over time, we might even forget about the “trains” and looking_up.jpgtheir potential hazards. Then one day, when we’re least expecting it, they come headlong in our path. Sometimes these “trains” may be momentary barriers. Sometimes, they may derail us completely.

James 1:14-15 warns, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

Proverbs 4:10 tells us how to deal with our evil “trains”: “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.”

Whether your train is an acquaintance, family member, bad habit, etc., don’t ride with it and lose sight of the danger. Turn and run from it.

 Keep looking up, our help cometh from the Lord.

Timothy Griffin serves as a Campus Pastor at Liberty University. The Campus Pastors Office exists to help produce students who have the highest standards of Christian conduct and Biblical principles so that they may reach people for Christ in whatever venue that the Lord may call them.