Travelling Lite#8. “Night train to nowhere.”

Travelling Lite#8. “Night train to nowhere.”

I took a night train from Palmerston North to Hamilton in 1981. The carriage was tired and colourless and had old, cracked leather seats that smelled like those cars from the 1950s. Though compact by the necessity of its design, it at least didn’t seem cramped. If my 20-year-old (pre-electronics) self had expected any form of luxury or excitement on that trip, it wasn’t forthcoming. And if I had slept at all, it would have been out of sheer boredom.

Though not the most exciting among my travels (some wouldn’t even call it that), it served its purpose. I paid a modest fare, and I got a modest service; what did I expect?

Youth is the land of ideals.

Every new experience is to be felt and enjoyed. They want to be thrilled and laugh with their fellow adventurers.

The last things young people want is to be bored, separated from their friends, or to endure an old person’s idea of a good time.

Admittedly, the travelling conditions with Jesus were modest, but they were anything but boring!

Imagine someone asking you 2000 years ago, “What happened on your travels with Jesus today?” You would have said: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” (Matthew 11:5).

That is exciting stuff!

It is when we see the work of God unfolding before our eyes that the cost of the sacrifice pales into insignificance. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a life of divine intervention?

Too many Christians present the Christian journey as “a night train to nowhere!”

And let’s face it, if all that our young people are hearing from us is that our sacrifices for Christ are bringing little more than hardship and misery, we must not be surprised when they do not want to get on board with us.

John Staiger


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