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On Sunny Lane: It's Hard to Stop a Train

Years ago, when I was in high school, I sat beside a boy in Spanish class who was voted most likely to succeed when we became seniors.

We spent a lot of time talking before class began, while everyone was getting seated. We did all of our talking in English, however, and sometimes we even whispered during class when the teacher wasn't looking.

Somehow, I managed to get an A in the class, but I don't know what my friend got. I was really interested in learning Spanish, but he just needed another class to fill up his, otherwise, sparse class schedule.

Fast forward to our 25-year class reunion. I reminded him about the title that he had been given in high school and asked him if he was living up to it.

When we usually think of success, we think that means a person is rich and famous. My friend was neither of those, but, after talking it over, we came to the conclusion that he was, indeed, successful.

He was married to the same lovely woman for 24 years; had three children; had a well-paying job; owned his own house; and was an elder in his church. In fact, he said he flew to South America once a year to do missionary work.

That is when he said that he regretted that he did not learn Spanish those many years before, when he had the chance. He said he had to hire an interpreter every time he went.

I said that South America was a long way to fly. He said that it was, indeed, scary and that he put himself in God's hands every time he got on the airplane in hopes that it would not crash. To which I replied that, whether the plane crashed or arrived safely, he was still in God;s hands.

If you will recall, Sweetheart and I came home from Los Angeles to Chicago on the Southwest Chief--the very train that derailed in Colorado exactly two weeks later. The train hit a truck at an uncontrolled crossing.

The train we were riding out from Chicago to Los Angeles also hit a truck. However, this crossing had signals and a turnstile.And there were no injuries or casualties involved, as there were in Colorado.

It seems that people, in their haste, take chances that cause them to lose time in the long run. And sometimes it can be disastrous.

We put ourselves in God's hands every morning when we wake up, whether we realize it or not. But, it wouldn't hurt to use our heads when we come to a railroad crossing.

It's hard to stop a train.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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