Last month, I set out for work on what I thought would be a typical Monday morning commute – long, but necessary. After 45-50 minutes of driving, I parked my car and made my way onto the loading platform at the train station. It seemed that the trains were delayed (not unusual during this railway construction phase here in Philly) but I didn’t think anything of it. Boarded the train and away we went. The train stopped after only a few minutes. A voice crackled over the intercom, “There will be a twenty-minute delay due to a medical emergency.” After a low murmur arose from the train’s irritated commuters, we all sat and waited.
After what seemed longer than the promised twenty-minute delay, the train started moving in the right direction. It’s about time, I thought to myself. After pulling in to the next stop, we were all met with unpleasant news. Due to the nature of the medical emergency ahead of us, they were shutting down the westbound track that crossed over the river into Philly. We were advised to get on a train heading eastbound. Eastbound? That is not in the direction of my destination. That is the opposite direction of the work, people, and meetings that were waiting for me.
I had no choice but to board the eastbound train and settle in for a frustrating morning. Back on the original train platform where I started, we were alerted that PATCO (train service) would be shuttling people over the bridge, free of charge, via bus if we just found our way to the next station (one that I had already passed once going to/fro that morning). Reluctantly, I boarded the westbound train again and started heading in the right direction.
A group of us found our way off of the train and made our way to some waiting buses which then shuttled us across the bridge within about eight blocks of where I work. I found my way off of the bus, scurried down the streets, and made it to work…three hours after I started from my house. Ugh!
Throughout this journey, we started receiving alerts and rumors about the “medical emergency” that had terminated the westbound service. The “emergency” was not someone fainting or becoming ill on the train. There was no heart attack or stroke reported. Word started coming through that someone had committed suicide on the tracks. Later that day, it was confirmed that someone had thrown themselves on the tracks in front of an oncoming train.
And here I was upset at any and all of the circumstances that were keeping me from my goal. And in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn’t that important. For goodness sake, here was someone who had come to a point in their life where not only would they find a way to take their life, they did it in a most horrendous way by throwing themselves in front of an oncoming train. It was at that point, that God seemed to pierce my heart and say to me, Boy – when are you going to realize that in the grand scheme of things, the circumstances you are going through right now, aren’t really that important?
You see, I have been in such a rush lately to reach the goal I believe God has for me, that I have murmured to, complained about, pushed around, cajoled, and been frustrated with so many people and circumstances in my life. That day, the words from Psalm 46:10 spoke loud and clear into my heart as my Heavenly Father spoke them to me, Be still and know that I am God.
Honestly, I struggle with being still. However, I need to trust Him and realize that in the grand scheme of things, all of these things that get us worked up in life, are quite small compared to the struggles that so many others face each and every day. God, thank you for the reminder of the important things in life and thank you for the three-hour commute that morning!