The Station by Robert Hastings

Paul FennerLife Transitions

Train Station

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans
the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars
on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of
smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and
valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, at a certain hour we will
pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many
wonderful dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed
jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering – waiting,
waiting, waiting for the station.

“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry. “When I’m 18.” “When I buy a new 450SL
Mercedes Benz!” “When I put the last kid through college.” “When I have paid off the
mortgage!” “When I get a promotion.” “When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily
ever after!”

Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.
The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the
day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today
that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear
are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice
cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less.
Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

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