One of the visuals of my childhood is seeing a derailed train in Gurdon, Arkansas. There are several movies that highlight a train going off a bridge, or the nightmare of two trains going towards each other on the same track. It can happen for many reasons, a switch is pulled that moves the track ever so slightly left or right to a similar but different track, there can be too much speed or momentum without preparation for the curves tracks naturally bear, or someone can simply fail to plan for more than their train to be on the track.
Trains that have left their intended route for re-fueling, for a change of crews, for a respite at a scenic stop are doing what they are meant to do…however there is a vast difference between that kind of stop and a derailment. Derailments are violent things, they can happen suddenly when things collide such as a truck and a train, they can happen as the spectacular end of many choices that harmonize to create a disaster, or they can simply be about folks driving ahead at full steam without understanding what they are doing.
Have you taken time lately to recognize what track you’re on? Maybe your money is funny (as Mama T, Thelma Wells would say) maybe your children are seeing more of the back of your head than kisses on theirs, maybe your wife is more accurately defined as your life at work, not your partner at home. Are you missing the forest of your life for the trees? Every trip doesn’t have to be planned, but to make the most of your trip in life, there has to be some idea of the track you wish to run on. For me that track includes:
Being a person who recognizes that every heart is worthy of my attention
Being a person who lets the people I love know that I do
Being a person whose integrity in business, home, and community is valued
Being a person who learns to love myself as much as I love others
Being a person who gives generously to others and cultivate into their hearts as others have mine
Being a person who takes time to honor the discipline of peace in my life
Being a person who identifies the skills needed and learns them when needed, and teaches others
Being a person who laughs often and shares hospitality where ever I am, whatever the situation, joyfully.
Your track will be different, and it doesn’t have to be all “holy and virtuous either”….one of my tracks is that I will own a cabin with a barn, ducks, pond, horses, and a citified office in the middle of my barn which will be built to have a state of the art studio in a barn next to it….and I have set the destination for journeys on my track to build it. You may have Europe in mind, or more children, a fancy car, or a spectacular vacation…but if your train is to arrive there, it has to be on the station master’s schedule or you may never stop at that location.
This week I’m setting a few new stops on my train schedule and track….one is to have breakfast with my husband every day at 6:15 am before he leaves for work. When we had little children, this was hard, for he left before they were up, but these days, the teens and college guys don’t need me as much and my office is often in my home if I’m not on the road, so I can luxuriate in breakfast alone with my husband. What a great way to start the day. (when I was single, and I was for a L O N G time, not to mention left behind at one point I called a friend to visit through breakfast though she was 400 miles away…and single too…so uh uh…you don’t get off the hook if you are single, widowed, or alone)…use the tools, Google Hangouts, Skype, Telephones, Cell face to face….if you’re not “with” your loved ones…then use the technology, write a letter, or pick up the phone!
What track do you want to add to your travels in life this week?
Begin where you are…take a moment to be the station master and decide which track you’d like to be on today…maybe it is time to simply look at the track you’re currently on and see if its going to the destination you intended. Let’s do this!