One of the loveliest places I have ever visited is a little town called Talkeetna. Talkeetna is in Alaska. My husband and I arrived in Talkeetna by bus along with many other tourists who, like us, were enjoying a week in Denali National Park. Our bus wasn’t one of the new ones with all the bells and whistles, it was just an old mediocre tour bus in a convoy of a dozen other buses. The ride on the bus was uneventful to be sure, but the destinations were filled with the wonder of God’s glorious creation and creatures. In Talkeetna, we even saw a triple rainbow, so bright and full of promise!
The buses dropped us off at a train station where they waited for us as we toured Talkeetna. The majority of the trains coming and going through the station were cargo trains. There was a passenger train or two, but the train that caught my eye, and the eye of a certain little 5-year-old boy was a big black steam locomotive! That locomotive came into the train station at a near crawl, chug-chug-chugging as the conductor steered it to a spot right in front of the crowd waiting to board the buses for the rest of the tour.
The crowd was silent, watching in awe as the huge coal eating train loudly spat black smoke and steam in every direction. With what seemed like a thunderous deep sigh, the huge train came to a halt right in front of us. All was quiet. That is until the little 5-year-old boy let out the loudest, shrillest, most terrifying scream I have ever heard!
All eyes turned immediately to the little boy who was frantically trying to get away from his mother! His heels were dug into the dirt in an effort to keep his mother from dragging him away from the huge locomotive to the buses. More than anything, that little boy wanted to ride on that monstrous locomotive! He had his little heart set on riding on the big black train, and nothing else would do!
My first thought was “Someone needs a time out!” Then I realized that maybe I was the one who needed a time out! How like that little boy am I, digging my heels in against God’s pull in my life, thinking that I know what I need better than God!
That little boy wanted a ride on the big black locomotive, yet his mother was taking him in a direction he didn’t understand and didn’t want to go. In his childish perspective, he thought he knew what was best for him. He thought he knew what he needed to be happy. He thought he knew better than his mom. Clearly, in his mind, a ride on the locomotive was what he needed to be happy!
Little did he know his mother had made marvelous plans for him at the other end of the bus ride! She was taking him on a steam boat cruise where he would see reindeer and a bush pilot taking off from, and landing on the river, right next to him! He’d see sled dogs and a real Athabascan Indian tribe village! He’d get to taste smoked salmon and touch the skins of wolves, bear and caribou! The bus was going to take him to a little boy’s dream! Yet he wanted to ride the train! The big, loud, coal burning, smoke spitting train, and the train was going nowhere.
The triple rainbow brightened as the child screamed louder and louder. “Trust me, my child, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11)
Oswald Chambers said “It is not a question of right and wrong, but a question of God taking you by a way which in the meantime you do not understand, and it is only by going through the confusion that you will get at what God wants.”
Like the little boy in Talkeetna, we may dig our heels in for a time, and even scream and cry when God pulls us in a direction we don’t understand. But we must turn away from that which is luring us away from God’s plan for our lives! We need to let Him take us by the hand, get on the bus and trust Him to take us where He wants! Mile after mile, some easy, some difficult, the Lord will bring us closer and closer to where He wants us to be! And I promise, we will never regret the ride with the Lord!
Lord, Jesus, be the director of my steps, lead me and guide me in the way I should go. Help me to distinguish between my desires and Your will, and give me the strength and fortitude to always choose Your will! Help me to trust You even when the way is not clear to me, help me to remember that You have the best plan, and the best route for my life. Thank You for holding tightly to me when I dig my heels in and try to go in a direction that is not best for me. Thank you for being the best Father. I love you, Lord!