When I was a child, every summer held a special mission for our family. At the apex of the summer heat all the Rutledge’s would pile onto the train at Dallas’ Union Station and ride the Texas Zephyr to cool, colorful Colorado where my grandparents had a summer home in nearby Littleton. The weeks spent in Colorado with grandparents and cousins were always fun– but, it was those railroad book-ends which still carry the wonder of that time for me. I can recall the polished metal of every swaying, locomotive surface, the navy blue upholstery, the conical paper cups in a tall dispenser hanging by the water cooler at the front of the car. I can still “see” porters wearing crisp white jackets, the meandering conductor, and I recall the tangible promise of making new friends amongst the other kids who would be on board. I remember staring out the windows as we hurtled across the passing plains of the Texas Panhandle, counting telephone poles, swapping comic books with my siblings. Sweet memories from a Golden Era.
Sadly, people don’t ride trains as commonly as they did back in the day. However, train travel is a reference that I find myself using quite often. In a practical way I visualize “My train” on the tracks. I am chugging along through my day or purpose. I am working, getting things done, writing great stuff, I’m receiving awesome downloads in the Spirit and picking up steam and making progress through the foothills of ministry work….and then the doorbell rings and my train grinds to a halt.
This imaginary train, on any particular day, is steaming along and moving out! I often bemoan the fact that I have to stop “my train” to take care of mundane, ordinary tasks that have no kingdom purpose or real gratification for me. We all have to do that. Dinner doesn’t cook itself, and that laundry does pile up!
We haven’t talked about Biblical Dreams recently, but this train idea is a great metaphor. If you are new to Feverseason.com, Dreams are a viable, regularly used form of communication by God to the folks from Genesis to Revelation. Often in Godly dreams, modes of transportation are pictured that represent your life, your ministry potential or forward momentum in the present or in the future. Some may dream of themselves on an enormous ocean liner. Others may be fishing in a small dinghy.
You may be riding a bicycle, driving a brightly colored car, while others may be “on track” on a bullet-train. You may embark in an antique bi-plane and wind up in a some sort of sleek military jet. This shows an advancing in the things of the Holy Spirit- flying high- and preparing for supernatural (military)warfare. Moving steadily through a number of vehicles may indicate that the Lord has a plan for your spiritual growth and influence toward others. The difference between a rowboat and an ocean liner is the number of people that it carries and the size of the Sea or puddle that it floats in. (Water generally is a picture of the Holy Spirit, Matt 4:13-14, John 7:37-38) As with many things in our lives, if we are faithful with the small things then we may graduate to something larger.
I had a dream awhile back, where I’m riding on a train with people that I know. In this dream, as I had my nose pressed against the glass, I saw outside on the ground, a very realistic, scary bear. I hadn’t even noticed that our train had stopped until this happened! I was extremely startled when the bear began to charge at me–In my seat I was above his level and the “dream” glass was like a protective force that couldn’t be penetrated. I could clearly see the threat but was totally unaffected by it. Bigger, and even more ferocious bears then appeared on the opposite side of the train. Seeing this additional danger, several other folks, against my warnings, disembarked to hunt or to try to “do something” about the bears. Don’t misunderstand. I understood the extreme danger. I could hear the bear’s terrifying roars and it was VERY scary. The people that disembarked were not seen in my dream again.
This dream taught me several important things. First: Spiritual Situational Awareness is important: Don’t let anything stop your Train. What types of actual things might possibly impede your forward spiritual locomotion? Just off the top of my head: Pride, Unforgiveness, neglecting your prayer life, dabbling in idolatry or the occult, on-going or unconfessed sin, hanging out with/or being influenced by people that have religious spirits or are satisfied with where they are/and are complacent about their status in their Spiritual Journey. All these items can bring your train to a dead standstill and leave you wide open to attack or derailment. If your train is going full steam where it is supposed to travel, then those impediments are just a blur in your peripheral vision and are powerless against you!
The second lesson is the importance of staying on the Train. We are only vulnerable to “Grizzly Bear Attacks” if we stop the train and get off onto their turf. The Train is- in this case- your Armor or Fortress. (Ephesians 6:10-18, Psalms 91) The very name of Jesus in Hebrew means Safety and Salvation. It is our association and relationship with Him that keeps us safe right now as well as in Eternity. We are repeatedly told to ABIDE in HIM… which is King James English for Stay on The dad gum Train! (John 15:4-9,John 8:31, 2 John 1:9, Gal 2:20, Colossians 2:6, 1 John 2:28, Colossians 3:1-3)
Be waiting at the station as I will continue with the Train Dream breakdown in the next post!