I love this reflection for so many reasons. I hope it has caused you to think about your own life, or train ride. I am so very blessed that on my 'train ride' those first people are still on the train with me - my parents. But, as I reflect upon that very fact, I realize that they could get off at any time, and it saddens me, but I know many who had a very short ride with their parents. Mostly this poem or story makes me think of the many people who have gotten on, and impacted my life in profound ways, and then gotten off. Some of these people have been there for what seems like a long time, and others for just a short while. The length of time, however, has not always deteremined the impact upon my life.
While I am thankful for most (I say most, because some I have not always been thankful for - but God put them there for a reason) everyone who has gotten on my train, this poem makes me think more of the trains I myself have gotten on. Have I been a person who has enriched the lives of those whom I have taken a seat beside? Have I helped when help was needed? Did I being joy and laughter when sadness overwhelmed them? Have those whom God put me beside been blessed by my taking the seat, or not? It makes me ponder the fact that I have a wonderful opportunity to impact each person along life's journey. Do I have a positive impact? I know that I have enjoyed being on my kids' trains, on my siblings' trains, but distance now separates us and I pray that whoever has taken my seat is impacting their lives in positive ways.
I think back to the years in Nicaragua, and all those people who sat with me through that part of my journey. Or, those special people who were there through the years in Chihuahua, and those in Canada. And now the faces on the train, here in Guadalajara, are new, but they are coming into focus. Each of us adding to the other's baggage. May I be found faithful in how I interact with them, that the mark I leave will be one that carries long term memories.
Some of the people that God has placed beside me have been so very special, our time so rich that I don't want them to go. I don't want them to get off - ever! But God knows what I need and in His sovereignty He places people in the seat next to me and then He tells them to get off. Some He has even taken home to be with him. It's all part of the journey. I must let go, when it is time for them to get off, and take the risk with the next person He places there.
It also makes me take a journey down memory lane and remember those who were very involved in my life, at one time, and are no longer a daily influence. Some I have lost contact with completely, but in their time next to me on the train, they made a huge impact. Some I have found again through social media, and can continue the relationship, although we are now on different trains. Some I would love to see again and share with them what a blessing they were to me.
So, I want to enjoy the ride, thankful for each person that God places next to me, whether for a short time or a long time. I also want to encourage you to not miss the opportunity to be a blessing to whomever you find yourself next to on the train of life.