I live near the "T," Boston's subway and commuter rail. At some point in my day, I cross the tracks two or more times. Today, I started to think about my train rides -- the rhythmic clickty-clack of steel wheels, the gentle side-to-side sway going around corners and the flash of lights along the tunnel walls -- people with headphones and newspapers -- spinning red marquees with destinations and advertising -- it's all part of getting to the station.
Life seems a little bit like a railroad track. It has two parallel paths, one positive, and the other negative. One rail shapes us, and the other rail blesses us, but both are leading in the same direction. There is something unique about the "T," it has a "third rail" electrified with thousands of volts. It's the one with the power. Without out, millions of commuters would be at a stand still. Like the experiences that shape us, and the ones that bless us, it too is going in the same direction providing power for the journey.
That is how life has been for us these past few weeks. From our 6th wedding anniversary to a wake for a friend of the family, we've needed all the rails beneath us. It seems one track always seems to bear the weight, but all are necessary to keep the train on course. And so the Johndrow' have managed celebration and death, the passage of unemployment to employment, the separation of our foster child, the joy of watching our 21-year-old go to Europe and return safely and a couple of graduations. I am not sure which experiences shaped us, but I do know that my wife and children have been a blessing.
As I am thinking about the third rail, I began to remember the distinctive smell of carbon-- the electricity powers the engines by carbon contacts that contact the rail. It is a very distinct odor that is slightly metalic, yet somewhat sweet in it's own way. There was one other thing that happened these past few weeks -- it was a third rail experience. I had a chance to meet with a friend of my brother's for lunch. He is a writer and passionate worship leader. I didn't really know why were getting together-- but I just felt like I should. It turned out to be a very enjoyable time in the Lord. Just sweet in it's own way.