Keeping Track

March 15, 2001
by Mary Daniel

1 Thessalonians 1:3 – Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father. (KJV)

My dog and I have been exploring new routes for our daily walks. These ones take us along the railroad tracks — not on the tracks — but on a new path paralleling the tracks, made especially for pedestrians and persons choosing to travel by means other than a vehicle.

The railroad has long been a part of my life. When we were young, we travelled cross-country to see our grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts. How well I remember the day the passenger train broke ground in our northeastern community. Often, its clickety-clack caressed us to sleep, but once it threatened to separate the doctor from me on his way to deliver our daughter.

It was also a huge part of my father-in-law's life, having worked for the railroad for 43 years. He kept his tracks meticulously clear of growing things, garbage and worn out ties. When visiting, he'd often "inspect" the tracks wherever we were living, pulling up the odd growth as a labour of love.

The care just isn't there anymore. Bags and lids litter the track. All manner of green things grow between the ties and on either side of the rails. My father-in-law and his generation of keepers of the tracks would be appalled.

It gives pause to wonder about the tracks we've laid down. Are they meticulously kept, are our thoughts and actions clear of garbage and unwanted growth, or have we let things slowly creep in and take their place along and in between the ties that bind what makes up what is, and how we live our lives?

Prayer: Lord, remind us to make those "checks" in our lives, and weed out the unwanted growth that sometimes slowly creeps in. May we keep track of what we say and do, making each word, thought and deed matter. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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