A little over a two years ago, you would not have known the man writing this blog. I was angry, doubtful and hopeless. My marriage was failing and divorce was lurking. My heart was gone from any emotion and I was ready to move on with my life. But God had a plan for me and it involved train tracks.
Packed and ready to go, my wife and I set the course from Virginia to Pennsylvania. We were on our way to visit family. Heading North towards the DC area can get messy so we ventured onto some back roads. The morning was still young, the clouds were heavy and a slight fog filled the air. The drive was actually quite cozy.
Eventually getting to the north side of West Virginia we came across some small rivers. They were literally 10′ off the road, but were hard to see due to the fog. A few minutes later we noticed a set of train tracks running along the river. Two sets to be exact. I knew with the current weather conditions and these tracks, God was showing me a sign. We stopped and got out of the car.
My wife grabbed the camera and we ran out to the tracks. You see for some time now I had been praying to find the perfect setting to take some photos of myself train tracks. I’ll explain more later. She stayed at the crossing and I ran down the track a little ways. I wondered if an actual train would come zipping at us.
I posed and my wife took a few, now classic, photos of me. The setting was perfect and God provided some awesome pictures. The images used in the post are the originals.
Oh yes, why are the train tracks such a big deal?
Before I came to truly follow Christ and just a few months before the images taken on the train tracks, I was completely lost. I had been meeting with a good Christian friend of mine at nights. He knew what I was struggling with and was desperately trying to help me understand my situation. For multiple nights I would fight against him and God. Making excuses, refusing to listen and trying to prove MY point. After multiple meet ups, he finally said he had to draw a line. If I was going to continue on my path, he would have to let me go. My response to him was simple, “If I’m going to change, I’m going to have to get hit by a freight train.” I didn’t want to lose him as a friend – but our time ended in disappointment.
The next week I met with my Pastor as a last shot deal. If this didn’t work, I was going to pursue a terrible direction for my life. We met in the afternoon and I went over my story. He listened and responded gently. Towards the end of the conversation, I told him the same line I told my buddy, “If I’m going to change, I’m going to have to get hit by a freight train.” His next words were absolutely inspired by God and they changed everything. Here’s what he said…
“In order to get hit by a freight train,
you have to put yourself on the tracks.”
I was shocked, stunned and almost breathless. It was exactly what I needed to hear and it pierced through me like a sharp sword would flesh. We prayed, he gave me a few challenges to pursue and I left. How do I put myself on the tracks? This thought ran through my head constantly…
Questions started to crush me. I realized, the train (God) can only hit me if I am willing to stand on the tracks. In other words, I will not find God unless I am willing to go to Him. How am I to find God, if I am not willing to take the first steps to get onto the tracks? How am I to find God if I don’t have the courage to stand on those tracks until the train hits me? How am I able to love God, if I don’t give him my heart? These questions and more, over and over and over again.
Only a week later, I realized that I needed to take a bold leap of faith and step onto the tracks. I wanted God to hit me – to run me over and take over my life. I will never forget this time and the train tracks will always be my reminder – among other things – that God wants me on the tracks.
I appreciate you taking the time to read a BIG part of my testimony. I hope you can apply these principles in your own life as well. Don’t keep walking alongside the tracks and waiting for something to happen. Close your eyes, trust God and step onto the tracks. It might be scary at first, but it will be the best decision of your life. Do it today.
(As a side note, a train came through a couple of minutes after we started taking photos. God was a little more literal than I thought.)