A few years ago, a news item caught my eye. Amtrak’s first high speed train sped through several Northeastern states on a trip from Washington D. C. to New York and Boston. The Acela Express reached speeds of 150 m.p.h. The trip from D. C. to New York stopped in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey before arriving three minutes late. Since, I’m a stickler for time, the three minutes late part would drive me nuts.
After leaving New York, it stopped in Connecticut and Rhode Island before arriving in Boston 10 minutes late. In all, the Acela Express covered 457 miles in a little over six hours. That’s fast. Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be proud of such speeds.
What makes it so fast? Does the conductor have a heavy foot? Were the passengers egging him on with “Put the pedal to the metal!”? Was the engine saying, “I think I can. I think I can.”
No. It’s the advanced technology which allows the train to take curves at higher speeds. Problems with this technology had delayed the start of the Acela Express for over a year. In addition, the company noted that problems with “premature wheel wear” had forced delays.
Premature wheel wear? Who released my medical records? My wheels are worn. Bum knees. I had one replaced a few years ago. When I get down on the floor to pick something up, I look around to see if there is anything else I can do while I am down there. I used to make fun of people who walk for exercise. “Get a real sport,” I said cynically. Now, I am a frequent and happy walker.
Premature wheel wear? I have a heel spur and arthritis in my big toe. I used to be a fast runner, now I’m a slow walker. I can’t get from point A to point B as fast I used to, but thanks to Amtrak, I now know what to call it: premature wheel wear.
The only thing that moves fast in my life now is Father Time. Father Time clicks along like the Acela Express. For me, the expression, “slow as Christmas,” doesn’t hold true. It comes around at an alarming rate.
So, are we ready? Are we ready for Christmas? Ready or not, it’s coming fast. Slow down. Take some time. Take it all in. Enjoy the emotions of the season. Advent gives us time to prepare our hearts for his arrival.
The Christ child wants to be born into your life. Remember, the gospel train never gets in too big a hurry.