Monday, October 7, 2013

Pay Attention to Trains

We have had some fun family trips. Venturing on a 3 1/2 week car trip through Europe with seven children in the car is no joke. Or maybe it is?
One summer we packed five children into a rental car and drove around England. We had a great vacation with some frustrating moments, but mostly amazing experiences.

On the scheduled day of our departure to fly back to the old country, we got all seven of us to Liverpool Street Station, a little scattered here and there, but mostly gathered . . .

The train heading for Stansted was in place and Arnfinn pushed me and the three youngest ones gently down the platform and told us to jump on the train and wait. The rest of the family would follow shortly.

I turned around and saw Linnea and Kajsa struggling to get their suitcases through the gate to the platform area, but obedient as I am, I got on the train with three youngest.

It did not take long before the doors closed and the train we were on left the station--not for Stansted--I still don't know where it was headed, leaving a surprised Arnfinn and two girls still at the Liverpool Street Station platform. I looked around in the carriage. No one had suitcases or baggage. They were just Londoners going home from work.

Had we chosen the wrong platform? Had the train for the airport already left? This was before I had a cell phone to rescue me out of any thinkable situation. I sat there with three children watching the city gradually turn into rural landscape and beautiful English countryside.

It took quite a while before the train stopped at a station. We got off, ran across to the opposite platform and waited for a train to take us back to Liverpool Street Station.

Miraculously, we made it back. We found the rest of the family, got on the very next train for the airport, and we made the last call for our flight back to Norway.

It turned out that a local train sat in front of the Stansted Express, ready to leave a few minutes before the longer airport carriage.

It's important to pay attention to which way we are heading in life.
Know the trains. Know where they are going and when.
We thought we chose the right way, but obviously we were not attentive enough.
With a little work and a lot of prayer, it turned out well, but we have often wondered what would have happened if I had not been there with the three children right as the train left the station.

Today it makes a funny story to tell. Hopefully, we learned something, too.

Today's water colors are of roads leading somewhere.