I ride the train six stops before getting off. I get on at Castelldefels Platja, and then there’s Castelldefels the city, then Gavá, Viladecans, El Prat de Llobregat, Bellvitge, Barcelona Sants (main train station), and then I get off at Passeig’d Gracia. It usually takes 30 minutes total to ride, walk down four blocks, and turn into the door of Metropol, my language school.
This morning however, was a little different. When we (all of us onboard) stopped in El Prat de Llobregat (+5 cool points if you can say that name correctly), we didn’t start moving again. After a few moments, the conductor came on the speaker and said that there was a problem in the Barcelona Sants train station and that we would not be moving forward for security reasons.
Barcelona Sants is one of the main train stations, if not the main one. All of the commuter trains (like mine), all of the long distance, and all the medium distance trains come into this station, so it’s quite busy.
You may or may not remember March, 11, 2004, but every Spaniard does, just as every American remembers September 11, 2001.
As we sat there, I started thinking about how I take my safety for granted. It’s sad to say, but in situations like this, I’m much more dependent on the Lord for my security. It later crossed my mind, “I’m not guaranteed to make it to the next train stop.” I don’t mean to say such things for dramatic effect. But it’s true. Did the mothers and fathers, or the sisters and brothers going to work on September 11th not think that they would be back home for dinner that night? Did the young students riding the train on their way to school in Madrid not think that they would have lunch with their friends on March 11th?
One of my leaders once told me, “I’m immortal until my job here is finished.” Meaning, the Lord made me for Himself. Not for me. God is more concerned about our process and progression of becoming more like Him, the pursuit of holiness. His purpose isn’t to make me successful, happy, or comfortable–His purpose is to conform me to the image of His Son. If it takes sitting on a train for an hour, wondering if I’ll make it to the next stop to increase my dependence on Him, so be it.
Many people have told me or written me e-mails, that say, “I’m so jealous!”, “I would love to be in Spain!”. My heart sinks just a little every time I hear that. Friends, it’s so not about the landscape. Yea, I’m thankful for it. I admire God’s creation. But I’m not here for me! I’m not here to sightsee! I’m here to invest in that which is eternal. Yesterday in my online class, I wrote down this quote:
“If where you are, you are becoming more like Christ,
then you’re in the right place.”
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this morning, worship, opportunities to share my hope, my reason for living, safety, etc. We sat for close to an hour on the train, and then we started moving again. Grace. Only grace.
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.
Jesus Paid it All, written by Elvina M. Hall, 1865