The greatest train journey ever

I was on my first train at 5 years and I’ve loved trains ever since – waiting at the station as the train draws in, jumping on board, pulling out of the station, picking up speed, watching the landscape flash by. It’s wonderful. All is under control, the destination is fixed, no worries, just sit back and enjoy the journey.

I was intrigued, therefore, years later, when I heard about “The greatest train journey ever.” It was a train of remarkable proportions, racing through history for hundreds of years, stopping in every century to pick up passengers. From what I read in the brochure it had all the promise of the train journeys I’d loved as a youngster, so when it drew into the station to pick up passengers in my century, I eagerly jumped on board.

I found myself in a compartment with several passengers already in serious conversation together. Noticing me, they immediately beckoned me over. “Do you know what this journey is all about, young man?” one of them asked me rather sternly. I admitted that I didn’t. “Well, you should,” he replied, “because if you want to stay on this train you have to know the rules and regulations.”

So they took me through the list of rules and regulations. “Do all those,” the person said, handing me the list, “and that’s your ticket to the end of the line. If you don’t follow them exactly, the Inspectors take away your ticket and out the door you go at the next station.”

This didn’t sound like the train journeys I’d come to love at all, I thought. On those journeys I simply went for the ride and the train got me to where I was going. Trusting the engine driver was ticket enough to get me there safe and sound. So I had to say something in reply: “But it says here in The Greatest Train Journey Ever brochure that ‘the one who calls you is faithful and he will do it‘, not me and keeping all these rules and regulations.”

“Where’s it say that?” one man asked briskly. ”

1 Thessalonians 5:24 it says in the brochure,” I replied.

“Does it now?” he said. He took out his glasses and peered at the brochure. He read it out loud, along with 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 1 Thessalonians 3:13. He looked up and said, “You know, I never realized that’s what the Bible said, so from now on I’m going to sit back and enjoy the journey.”

“Interesting you should say that,” another man replied, “because it says in the brochure here – in 1 Peter 1:8 – that enjoying the journey is what it’s for.”