Will I Board?

What a banged up, needy world we live in.  Everywhere we turn, we hear voices calling out for help, or voices crying out on behalf of those who have no voice, no power. The cries come from despairing places where war, disease, greed and all manner of heartlessness and hopelessness have ravaged communities, sometimes beyond recognition.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like more is required of me to ease the suffering of this world.  We have so many resources and just this one life to invest them.  There are people who step up and run towards the places of greatest need.  I am fascinated by them.  I want to follow them, but it is scary.

For some reason, the imagery of a train leaving a station has been developing in my mind when it comes to committing more fully, in ways I can’t figure out yet, but have to do with   choosing a less comfortable lifestyle, so that others may experience a greater measure of comfort.

This isn’t a guilt trip.  It’s too big a question and the decisions too big to make based on guilt.  It’s more of a heart cry for courage and direction.

And answering the question:  “Will I board?”

“… I will not give God that which costs me nothing.”  2 Samuel 24:24

New Hope Train Station  Photo by Paul Ward Used by permission http://fineartamerica.com/featured/train-new-hope-train-station-paul-ward.html#comment6869671

New Hope Train Station
Photo by Paul Ward, used by permission. 

 

Will I Board?

What to do?

This train is about to leave the station,

That much is clear.

Steam billows and the whistle blows,

Startling me with its shrillness.

 

I’ve been  standing on the platform,

Thinking this is a good idea,

But refusing to commit,

Talking a whole lot about grace

And mercy,

But not giving them in full measure,

At least not the costly kind.

 

I understand this train is bound for

Destinations where healing must arrive,

Where life and death hang in the balance,

And provision cannot arrive too soon.

Where fear and evil wound

But have not formed callous coverings

Over hearts,

Like abundance and apathy often do.

 

Fingering my ticket for the hundredth time,

Palms sweat, heart slams, will staggers,

As I hear the Conductor call,

And move toward the sound of His voice,

His reassuring voice.

 

But oh,  the “What ifs”  weigh me down

Like so much heavy baggage.

What if…

Danger and pain await?

What if…

I mistake my plans for His?

What if…

My fears come true and the hard is too hard?

What if…

The American Dream was worthwhile after all?

Am I the young man

Who could not,

Would not,

Relinquish one kingdom

To reside in another?

 

The story’s not a story anymore,

As the train

Quivers and lurches slowly forward

From my station stop.

 

I must decide.

I will decide,

One way or the other.

Will I board this train?

 

kpeterson  April 11, 2013

 

Thanks to my train-loving Uncle Lance for finding this beautiful picture.  Right down to the station’s name:  New Hope, it is perfect.  If you would like to see more of Paul Ward’s beautiful work, simply click on the photograph and you will be linked to his site.  Thank you, Paul, for letting us enjoy your skillful creativity on my blog today.

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