I have long wanted to take a train somewhere. The idea of being on the ground appeals to me, as does the idea of being able to get up and walk around if I want to. I doubt they have an Internet connection on trains, but if they did, that’d really seal the deal. I’ve looked into train tickets many times when I’ve been planning a trip, but it always ends up being too expensive and taking too long. They just aren’t practical for weekend trips. The closest I’ve gotten is rinding the El in Chicago, the subway in New York City, and the little train that runs around Six Flags.
I’m not a train aficionado, really. I don’t long for the days that steam engines roamed the plains, nor do I think monorails are the wave of the future (despite what Lyle Lanley says). I really don’t even know much about trains, other than they run on tracks and that if cars are hooked to an engine, they’ll follow that engine wherever it goes.
It’s that last part that is the basis for a philosophy taught at my church. If it’s got a specific name, I don’t know what it is, but it goes like this:
Yeah, it doesn’t really look like it’s got much to do with trains, I know. It’s more that a train is used as an illustration of how those steps work: if you do the first two, the third will follow along as a natural result.
Expanded out a bit more, the teaching says that, yeah, a lot of the time we don’t feel like doing what we need to be doing. I haven’t gotten enough sleep, things are rough at work, the cats are throwing up, I stubbed my toe, I’m out of cookies — any number of things can make me not feel like doing what I ought to be doing. But… it’s no excuse. I need to do what I need to do, feelings or no. This little three-step process tells me to think about what the right thing to do is and consider why it is right. Then I need to do the thing that is right. Once I’ve done that, the feelings will follow. It’s that simple.
And that difficult.