With a fresh crew aboard, the incoming crew stood and watched the trucks slowly rumble past. Their ears were finely tuned for any sounds of grinding metal or escaping steam from the brakes. Their eyes scanned every wagon for any defects.
As the last wagon rolled past, the incoming crew radioed the outgoing crew that all was well.
The crew breathed a sigh of relief that the train had no defects. The driver breathed easier knowing that his trip down the long, steep mountain grades to the coast should be a safe one.
The assistant driver ticked off the paper work. "Everything right, paper work all correct," he told the driver. At ease and confident, the driver sits back, concentrates for one moment on the track ahead, opens the throttle and eases the train up to maximum speed."
At ease and confident, the Driver opens the throttle.
The crew has observed for defects for weaknesses and for necessary corrections. Even though preparation for the journey ahead is routine, it is carried out every time the crew prepares to travel. It can never be taken for granted and there can be no shortcuts. It must be thorough every time the crew is charged with the duty ahead, even after many years of making the same trip.
Now the crew is satisfied and at ease because outward observations have been thorough. All the paper work has been read carefully. It has been understood thoughtfully. It has set strict boundaries with time to check how much fuel is in the tank, and when to pause for refreshment and rest. It has pointed out what lies ahead and where the journey ends. Now it must be put into operation vigilantly if the journey is to proceed according to the manual.
They take their places, alert and focused because "...no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62).
I wonder if you and I take our journey towards our eternal destination as seriously as the crew takes every train journey?
The Train Driver