This week I thought I would share with you about a trip I took from Chicago to Pittsburgh by train. It was quite an experience, and I think it is well worth sharing! So, let us take a trip down Memory Lane…
In talking with my former student Gail, she suggested I call this reflection The Midnight Train. Perhaps I should, because I was sharing with her my first journey on an Amtrak train from Chicago to Pittsburgh. It was definitely an adventure!
We left Chicago at 6:40 pm and arrived in Pittsburgh at 5:15 am; my many attempts to sleep on during the journey were all in vain. Eventually I gave up and began listening to the conversations going on around me. Surprisingly, there were two common themes: Family and Faith (God/Spirituality). I found this interesting, since the folks on the train were from all walks of life and ages. Also, I had no idea I would be sharing this memory with you until I began to write it!
On the train were a few grandparents, delighted in having returned from visiting their grand and great- grandchildren. There was excitement in their voices as they shared their experiences. Moms and sleepy children laughed about all the things they had done that day, and were ready for a nice long nap. In the faith department Amish, Christians, Catholics, and Muslims were sharing those things they had in common as well as responding to some misconceptions that another was experiencing.
I couldn’t help but think of the richness that was in just this one car. People were taking the time to share and enjoy the blessings of one another, complete strangers! One young lady became so engaged with the gentleman she was sitting with she took some photos after the trip to use for her photography class. Amazing!
I don’t know about you, but it appeared to me that this type of listening and sharing is easier to do with strangers than with family and those we live with or work with. Why do you think that is?
I am not sure myself, but I can give many excuses why I don’t. Perhaps I need to look at the reasons that keep me from being my best self to those who are closest to me. Perhaps I need to work on sharing my faith and spirituality less reluctantly. Our human nature can lead us to rationalize so much, but what can reflection and quiet time lead us to?
I have a hunch that we all may find ourselves on that ‘midnight train’ from time to time, taking in the goodness and wonder that surrounds us during this coming week. Not bad for a reflection brought on by a long sleepless journey!
I have some inner work to do. How about you?
Use this week to share with those around you some of the gems of your faith life. Be willing to put yourself out there and bring beauty to those who surround you.
Till next week,