As with so many of my journeys, I think the thing I crave most is finding God in a deeper way. It’s not like I don’t know God. He has become so incredibly special and close to me. But I find him like never before when I travel. I read a blog written by one of my best friends who was writing about finding God. He compared it to winning the heart of his girl, “Just like when I wanted to have a relationship with her, I didn’t ask other people about her. I didn’t read books about her. I talked with her! Why would I do that with God? Why not just talk to Him?”
This has put me on a journey. It has put my mind on a journey. I have been practicing this truth in a society that tells me the opposite. Society cannot bear unpredictability. It can not handle wildness. We have tamed everything and made it predictable. We become Christians at 16. We get married at 21. We have kids. We don’t do anything risky. We don’t smoke. We don’t drink. We don’t dance. But what about our hearts? Are they as clean as our lungs and liver? Is there room for the blessed Father in there? Are they free and happy or sad and dying? Then we get older and we wonder where life went. I would like to propose that we think outside the box. What if God is wild? What if life is meant to be unpredictable? Would we be okay with that?
I have taken this golden nugget of truth from my friend. I have been seeking God. At this time [for the time being] I have resolved not to read another book about how to get to know God. Not another book on how to build a relationship with God. I have found God. Him and I have a relationship. And we talk. We both talk. Admittedly I do more. [Haha.] But just hanging out with God and talking with Him as brought me ten thousand times closer than any book I may have read titled “10 steps to finding God.”
And it’s been good. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. I think back to the first time I met God. Behind the chicken house in southern Kentucky next to a putrid drainage ditch. (My brother and I renamed it Little Chicken River because we wanted adventure.) Then I ignored God. For many years. Besides, I didn’t know what to do with this experience. Then seven years later when my life was spiraling out of control He came again. He met me in a powerful, life-changing way that set me free and gave me courage.
I left everything. Only to get sucked up in another system. To find healing from this, God led me on a long journey through Europe. I couldn’t say why I was going and I thought I was crazy going for a whole month. My comfort was that I had enough money to by a ticket back anytime I wanted. Instead the day I came back was the worst of them all. I wanted to cry. And I learned to know myself. I found myself. I discovered that God is big and wild. Unprogrammed. And He wants to be discovered. It was a month of hurts and fears draining from me and being replaced by confidence. By knowledge of being the beloved son of God. I vividly remember the profound moment that God met me on a smoky local train lost in central Bosnia in the middle of the night. I was standing beside the open window as we chugged along. It was a brilliantly clear night with stars sparkling so brightly I didn’t know what to do. And God touched my heart. I had found so much healing and this was like a final touch. It brought tears to my eyes. It was like a giant hug from God.
Over the years I have traveled here and there again. I have taken about 70 plane rides in the last 20 months. But I prefer train when ever possible. Because I find time to relax, unwind, and hear from God. To talk to him. It’s like our special place. I have so many good memories of train rides across places like China and Australia.
And that is why I chose to take the train from northern Norway to southern Germany. Yeah, its over 2000 miles and it takes 3 days and 2 [miserable] nights. But God comes and talks to me every day. It’s a hallowed spot. Yesterday it was mostly me talking to Him. Asking so many questions. And today it was Him talking to me. He said,”I know you have questions. You want answers. But you need to trust. Life is meant to be mystery. It is meant to be wild. If it weren’t you wouldn’t need Me. Because you have chosen to live from the heart. And we are going to share the adventure and the journey of life you are on.” And my heart was so full I didn’t know what to do. Except, whisper thank-you as warm, salty tears pushed at my eyelids. And I knew as never before who I am.
Now isn’t that pretty cool? God wants to share our lives. I have come to believe that he wants to be deeply involved and personally share in our adventures. He wants to be right beside us in whatever we are doing or pursuing.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Discover what makes you come alive and go give that to the world. The world needs people who are alive.”
You know how the first thing we all do when we wake up is to reach for our smart phones? You know how broadly we smile when there is an email waiting from that dear friend who is 6 hours ahead of us. Do you know how much God would like it and how broadly He would smile if we woke up and talked to him before leaving the covers? Not to mention before we even touch that smart phone.
I also believe that many times we neglect to realize that God has created us uniquely. Those desires he placed in us may be something He wants us to explore, to follow through with.
Honestly, I feel very vulnerable sharing this. But I have to. Because then you expect be to keep living this. It creates accountability. And perhaps there is a soul who is wondering how to connect in a deeper way with God. Please don’t read a book. Just go sit beside a river for a weekend by yourself. God desperately wants to connect with you. And He will. If you are willing. There is no prescribed way. But if we truly seek Him we will find him!
2 thoughts on “God, Myself, and the Train”
I appreciate the words. We often get wrapped up in trying to find God in books other than the bible or taking time to be with Him. I often find running or cycling as that time where I can be with him. And funny enough, I had been considering taking a train back home to see my family over Christmas to force myself to slow down and listen for Him.
Sharing your kind, thoughtful words with others.
I need this. Thank you