At birth we board the train.
In that moment, we begin our very own unique, and unforgettable journey. We meet our parents and other critical caregivers and we believe they will always be travelling by our side, teaching, guiding, unconditionally loving us. However, as our journey progresses, we learn that at some station along the way, our parents will step down from the train and leave us to journey on without them.
As the journey continues, we meet many other people riding on the train who become very important to us. Our siblings, our close and distant relatives, our friends, the love of our life, perhaps our own children or even grandchildren.
We witness many comings and goings; the new arrivals boarding, and the passengers of all ages and stages disembarking. Often, our fellow travelers who step down leave a permanent void in our heart. While many others go so unnoticed during our journey we may not even realize they vacated their seats.
Our train will be full of joy and sorrow, adventure and boredom, high expectations and crushing disappointments.
There will be hellos and goodbyes, brief encounters, and long poignant farewells. There will be many tears and much laughter.
There will be illness and health. There will be waking and sleeping.
There will be times filled with music, dancing and celebration.
And there will also be times of quiet, stillness, and even grief.
This is all a normal part of our ride.
In the end, the measure of our success will consist in how well we cultivated good relationships with all of the passengers. This will require some hard work and selflessness on our part; a willingness to share, to give the best of ourselves, especially during uncomfortable or difficult situations.
The train holds a great mystery.
No traveler ever knows at which station they will be departing. It could come just around the next bend, or it could be hundreds of miles ahead.
So, a passenger must live in the best way possible each day; learning to love, forgive, serve, offer the best of who we are at any moment. Then, when the time comes to leave our seat vacant and step out of the train, a part of us can remain behind; a gift of beautiful memories to inspire and help those who continue to travel forward on the train of life.
“Life is like an old time rail journey – delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.
The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”
-Gordon B. Hinckley quoting Jenkin Lloyd Jones, A Conversation with Single Adults, 1996
I wish for you a joyful and fascinating ride on the train of life. May you reap success through giving and receiving lots of love. May you remember to look around and notice your fellow travelers, be mindful of their needs and what you can share or give to help them along. May you watch for all the “beautiful vistas” that your journey provides and embrace the joys. Most importantly, may we each thank God for the chance to take the journey.
Thank you, for being one of the passengers on my train. – MoSop
*all photos courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License*