Monday, September 21, 2009

Train Wreck

Last Saturday morning, I saw the remains of failure. About 8AM, I received a call to go take a few pictures of a train derailment. A half-hour later, I was dumbfounded by, not a simple derailment, but a genuine train wreck. Some 45 cars were smashed, accordion-like, into each other. They were all "hopper" cars, the kind that carried non-perishable dry goods - these were loaded with assorted sizes of crushed stone. No passengers, no chemicals, no gases. Praise the Lord. Just 5,000 tons(!) of twisted metal and rock.
A culvert had failed. Torrential rain had eroded away the foundation of it, and after the engine and a number of cars had safely passed, it gave way, and car after car first plunged, then successively crashed into its predecessor on the rail bed, the track itself being torn from the cross ties.
I'm reminded of Paul's words to the Corinthians: "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (1 Cor 9:27). The danger was not just that Paul might fail, but how much catastrophe would be done to the churches he ministered to had he yielded to temptation and permanently damaged his testimony. How many hearts would be discouraged, how many under conviction might spurn the gospel, how many enemies of the Cross would laugh! And how much further reaching is such sin than we ever realize at the first.
May I be ever careful to, as Paul, keep myself under discipline, that I not yield to careless sin, and become disqualified for the task that is set before me! How many following behind might be "wrecked" because of my failure!

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