The conductor and his time

Christianity is not a system of ethics; it is a life.
It is not good advice; it is Divine adoption.

Ven. Fulton J. Sheen
from his book Remade for Happiness


(Conductor Harry Renshaw consults his pocket watch just prior to the departure of a
Boonton branch suburban commuter local on the Delaware,
Lackawanna & Western Railroad in the mid 1920s/ Pintrest)

I intended to continue our little thoughts about trains today but the Mayor and Sheriff
are set to come visit tomorrow so once again, time is pressing…
However, I’ve got time enough to throw out a quick thought.

My great-grandfather, a man I never knew, for reasons I’ve never learned,
brought his family all the way from New York to a rural area just north of Atlanta.
He went to work with the railroad and I still have his Hamilton pocket watch, a watch he
used as an integral part of his job of keeping trains on time.

Whenever I’ve traveled throughout Europe, I have always utilized the various train systems…
The trains are always clean, crowded yet punctual, as well as efficient, to a fault.

The one thing Italians will always credit Il Duce, aka the infamous Benito Mussolini, with is
his pre WWII promise that Italian trains will always run on time..and by gosh
they run on time to the minute to this very day.

If you a running late, say, due to a slow taxi, a traffic jam or a typical miscommunication
over a ticket, you can forget the train waiting…Italian trains wait for no man.

Thus I tend to think of God as this master sort of train conductor.
He’s sets both the date and the time.
He stands at the steps of our designated car with a watch in His hand.
He looks both left and right… yet doesn’t see us.
The second hand spins, the minute hand advances without hesitation.
He continues to look both left and right.
The engine begins to rumble…
The “All Abroad” is announced…time is of the essence…
yet we are absent from the platform.
God checks the clock one last time…
Time for the train to depart.

Did we think He’d wait on us?
Time, my friend, is fleeting.
Don’t be late.

“The saints flinch as instinctively as others when the cross comes along,
but they do not allow their flinching to upset their perspectives.
As soon as it becomes clear to them that this particular suffering is what God
evidently wants suffered, they stop flinching.
Their habitual state of surrender to God’s will has a steadying effect:
they do not get stampeded into panic or despair or rebellion or defeat.”

Dom Hubert van Zeller, The Mystery of Suffering
An Excerpt From
The Mystery of Suffering

18 comments on “The conductor and his time

  1. The conductor and his time

    On Saturday, March 20, 2021, cookiecrumbstoliveby wrote:

    > Julie (aka Cookie) posted: “Christianity is not a system of ethics; it is > a life. It is not good advice; it is Divine adoption. Ven. Fulton J. Sheen > from his book Remade for Happiness (Conductor Harry Renshaw consults his > pocket watch just prior to the departure of a Boonton branc” >

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    Got my ticket🥰

  3. Salvageable says:

    Nice post. I am with you on the way on your main points. But Mussolini did not cause the trains to run on time. He said it so often that people believed it, even years after the war ended and his side had lost. More recently, researchers have looked back at diaries and other uncensored writings from Fascist Italy and have deduced that the trains were no more regular under Fascism than they had been before the Fascists took power. J.

  4. Dawn Marie says:

    I love the Fulton Sheen quote!!! Followed by such a wonderful analogy, Julie! I truly feel inspired to get on Board to reach the final destination ON TIME!! Hugs to you for this joyful journey we are sharing to get there! 😊 🚆

  5. You cannot know how timely this post was for me, Julie. ❤

  6. Thanks for the timely reminder Julie 😉

  7. SLIMJIM says:

    Love your second post on the the train theme; Its crazy you have that watch from that long ago (and I too wonder why about your great-grandfather

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