I recently had a lovely reunion with a dear friend (my first boss), her husband and her daughter: who is my Goddaughter.
We met for afternoon tea in London which, for me involved a train then a subway journey and Light Railway journey; the latter being something I’d not done for some time.
The noise levels on the subway line, one of the deepest on the London network, were almost unbearable without having one finger in my ear most of the time while I was being flung from side to side in my seat as we travelled along, at what seemed to be an unnecessarily high speed.
It was a very unsettling experience for several reasons. Firstly, there were no points of reference as we hurtled past blank walls, just an occasional tiny light on the tunnel wall.
Also, I was putting myself completely into someone else’s (the driver’s) hands with no way of controlling whether or not we’d reach our destination safely.
We had to change from the subway to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to reach our destination. On the return journey, the station platform was blocked by a faulty train and I was reminded that the DLR is a driverless system.
The stations too are, largely, unstaffed so information when something goes wrong can be hard to come by. So, we felt stranded with the information boards inaccurate and the system temporarily paralysed.
Fortunately, the situation was quickly resolved, the faulty train was removed and we were on our way again. Yet, it was disconcerting. We knew where we wanted to be but our route was blocked.
Now, a few days later and looking back at that journey, I’m struck by how parts of our Christian journey through life can feel as though we’re being taken along – or maybe, even, being pulled along – through a dark tunnel.
Are we really going in the right direction, on the right line? Everything is hurtling by; we’re being shaken around; can we really trust the driver? Our life in His hands? Is it really safe to give up that much control?
The points of light along the way can be so small sometimes that they’re easy to miss and the light they give can be fleeting.
Sometimes we have problems, we may feel completely ‘stuck’. Our preferred route is temporarily blocked. There doesn’t seem to be anyone we can ask about when the situation will improve. It’s all very unsettling.
We know what we expect and hope our destination to be but, on the journey, we don’t always have the clear signs we’d like to have.
All we can do is place all our worries, fears, frustrations, even anger into God’s hands and then allow ourselves to be carried.
Isaiah 42:16 (KJV):
16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
It was worth the journey!