Column for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch 7 April 2019.

I came back to Townsville last week on the Spirit of Queensland train. I had considered blogging about the adventure, I still might. Leisa says I should call it Richard’s Railings. It wasn’t unalloyed joy, there were some annoying aspects to the trip, the odd thing to rail against. But it was cheaper than flying, probably more environmentally sound (diesel power cars notwithstanding) and I love trains anyway, real or model.

It was much slower than flying, of course, 19 hours (an hour late) against 2 hours on a plane. But I did a couple of things which I can’t, or don’t, do on a plane. I caught up with reading during that enforced almost day long journey, and I just sat and looked out of the window. There is a quotation from an old Maine fisherman in 1905, often misattributed to Winnie the Pooh, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and other times I just sits”. In this mad world we have lost that happy knack of just sitting - and sometimes thinking. Job had led a hectic business life until dreadful misfortune befell him. Being removed from his business and prosperity gave him a chance to sit and think about what was important. God told him (ch37 v14)  “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders”. And in ch 12 vv7 - 10, ““But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

So as I looked out of that carriage window, because there was nothing else to do, God’s passing furry and feathered wonders told and taught me what I already knew but often forget. That I should “Be still and know that I am God”.


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