“We must be careful with our lives, for Christ’s sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously.” ~Frederick Buechner
My friends who are missionaries in London say it’s one of the most heartbreaking things to hear.
“We apologize for the inconvenience. The train will be delayed slightly due to person on the track.”
Life becomes too hard or too stressful or too much. Or we become too little or too hurt or too anonymous. And one step promises a place where pain’s presence is no longer.
I stand on the platform of the underground and stare at the rails, wondering how many lives had been stepped away, how many people had said for whatever reason today was not worth the hours given it.
And then I look at the crowds standing by me. And I know that death is not the only stepping away. Life becomes mundane, relationships become challenging, work becomes uninspired. The past chases us with its headline news condemnation and the future turns its head when we get close enough for a meaningful conversation. And we look at ourselves in the dirty glass of the windows as the train barrels by, wondering what tiny piece of our image is real and what is illusion.
And it’s easy to listen to the voice that simply says “step it all away.” Run away, make a new start, find something better, find someone better, YOU are better, YOU deserve more – you.deserve.nothing.
I know the voice is real. Because I hear it too. And it’s too easy to become the person on the track. And the truth is that life – this life, this good and holy life – is delayed because we choose to step away.
But we are made for life.
So let this day be about that life. No more stepping away. No more voices. Just you – and me – embracing the mundane, the challenging, the uninspired. Just you – and me – not running, not finding, not deserving or demanding. Just you – and me – believing there’s greater joy in going down the barreling track than lying on it.
I am praying for you today, sweet ones. Here’s my hand. Let’s do this.
What makes you want to step away, run away, find something new? Let’s name those things – and then hold each other up in prayer and encouragement today.