Vacation is to be a time of rest and getting away from the busyness of your normal routine. But there are lessons to be learned from driving across the country when we make the effort to stay awake and look around. Normally, by the time I have packed and gotten everything taken care of at home in order to leave on a trip, I am so exhausted I can’t wait to get in the car and sleep while my husband drives. For some reason, that was not the case this time. We saw so much difference in God’s creation from one state to another I didn’t want to miss anything. The terrain went from flat and barren, to mountainous and lush – from cactus to pines.
Living in the city can cause you to forget the things you saw as children if you were raised in a rural area. For example, we saw so many trains. We had forgotten that trains were used that much anymore. But apparently they still are. That brings me to this question. How many engines does it take to pull a train? The answer according to one internet posting is it depends on the load, the terrain and the power of one.
We became fascinated by one train that stayed alongside us all day. It had four engines! Why so many? Knowing the answer of ‘it depends’, it became clear. The load on this train was very heavy. In fact, I have never seen a train so long and with so many of the cars carrying a double stacked load. In addition, we were traveling through a mountainous area. I don’t know the power of one engine, but I do know that all four engines were traveling together as a team with the same goal and purpose – to deliver their load safely and successfully. It took a team of four engines to get the job done.
The engines of this train reminded me of successful ministry teams. Teams who work together to carry the burden of the ministry to a successful result. Were all of these train engines running at the same time? I don’t know the answer to that. It could have taken the power of the four to pull the load, or it could have been that three of them were equipped and ready to take over at any time the front engine ran out of power. Maybe they rotated the lead. But what I do know from seeing it, is they were all together for a common purpose.
What a beautiful picture of good leadership; traveling together side by side, powered up and ready to do what is needed to lead those that follow to the purpose and place God intends them to be, doing what He leads them to do through whatever rocky terrain there may be along the way. The train was slowed down, but it never stopped until reaching its final destination. May we as leaders be that determined, that loyal, that supportive and strong for those who follow.
Virginia Grounds 2013