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The Trolley Line

The Trolley Line

 

By Mark Jean-Luc Matthews

 

Copyright © 2017 by Mark Jean-Luc Matthews

 

Shakespir Edition License Notes:

This free ebook may be copied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided it appears in its entirety without alteration, and the reader is not charged to access it.

 

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Greetings, fellow passengers. I hope one or more of these ten inspirational-style essays will speak to you in a special way. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is finally here. So enjoy, and may God’s many blessings be upon you. The first station stop on our Trolley Line tour is…The Trolley itself – All Aboard!

 

Stop 01: The Trolley

 

What if we thought of our life’s journey as a ride on an old-fashioned open-air trolley that moves along the tracks of a trolley line? This trolley car travels at a slow, constant, and methodical pace; representative of the passage of time. The stops along the trolley line represent each of our individual lifespans. We don’t know which station is our final trolley stop until we are pulling into it, at which time we must disembark. Is ours the next stop or far down the line?

 

During the ride, we are encouraged to remain on the trolley at all times. However, we have the gift of free will. We can therefore easily hop off and on again since it moves so slowly. Most of us try this at various points in our lives. Very few ever remain on the trolley the entire length of the line, remaining on the ideal path pre-conceived by God for each of us, keeping Christ at the center of our lives. Without discipline and plenty of help from others, free will leaves us susceptible to many distractions and temptations, and it is easy to let down our guard and to want to hop off and on.

 

Some of us eventually choose to not only hop off, but to walk alongside or behind the trolley simply because we are bored or to experience the novelty of a change of pace or scenery. The next logical progression is to then stop and linger for a while; to look around and pick things up and inspect them, even as those still on board are calling and waving for us to return as they dwindle into the distance. The sightseers erroneously assume that short excursions won’t do any harm. After all, just a few steps, a quick walk, or at most a brisk jog will easily bring them back alongside the trolley again well before it arrives at their station. Small excursions, the brief tangents away from the intended path that is God’s plan for our lives, soon become longer and more frequent. Successful trolley returns embolden us to stray again. This is remarkably similar to the way little sins can lead to bigger and bigger ones if left unchecked as we rationalize them away.

 

Every moment away from the trolley is squandered time and a lost opportunity that can never be fully regained. But as long as we do get back everything resets thanks to God’s mercy and grace; all’s well that ends well. The sacrament of reconciliation is a great way to get back to the trolley; to re-center Christ in our lives and to mend our relationship with Him when we do stray. More importantly, it helps us to want to remain on board; the reasons for wanting to hop off begin to appear meaningless, trivial and not worth the risk. Without those resets, it’s easy to rationalize that we can continue with our ‘harmless’ excursions and that we can always get back on our own; we begin to believe that it’s not a big deal that the durations are progressively increasing.

 

For those that continue to stray and take their chances, external influences soon begin. Distractions appear seemingly out of nowhere and they beckon us to linger ever longer. Some passengers are not satisfied with simply walking or exploring alone, and they urge others to hop off to join them too. Soon people are gathering in small groups, gazing at nearby items of interest such as a nest at the top of a telephone pole, becoming lost in random and meaningless conversations.

 

And then it happens. We completely lose track of time. Suddenly we realize that the trolley is nowhere in sight. For the first time in our lives we feel empty, frightened, and alone—separated from our life’s path and our security. We feel the panic of being swept out to sea by a riptide, unable to see the shoreline. We know the trolley travels at a slow pace, always ready to welcome us back, but to actually look and not see it can be disconcerting. A rare few may continue in denial, refusing to believe that things are getting serious. Most of us do start to run, however, some in a panic, nervous that one trip on loose rocks or a clump of grass may make matters even more desperate. The rules dictate that only the trolley may be on the tracks, so we are forced to run alongside where it can be steep, rocky, treacherous, and the footing uncertain.

 

Will everything be okay? We begin to encounter obstacles that hinder our progress—benches or short walls that we have to jump or climb over. The tracks pass directly through a train station with no room to squeeze by alongside. We have to enter the cavernous building and then zig-zag through the station, encountering a maze of dead-end hallways, locked doors, and frequent back-tracks. This is when a sense of regret may really begin to set in for the first time. Why did we choose to hop off in the first place? The trolley was stable, pleasant, inviting, and safe—it was our rock and our purpose. Successful excursions built up false pride and we became far more confident in our abilities to return than we should have had. We pray for help. We simply cannot find our way back on our own. We need to keep our trolley the focus and center of our lives, and return quickly whenever we do rationalize that it’s okay to hop off.

 

Ironically, the farther away the trolley gets from us, the more distractions, temptations, and obstacles are thrown in our way by enemies. This compounds the difficulty of a safe return and diminishes the probability of success. Guess who wins if the trolley reaches our exit station before we catch up to it again? Not us. We are all called to be holy and to strive to remain faithfully on our trolley end-to-end. Frequent prayer and examination of conscience combined with self-awareness helps to prevent the brief excursions from becoming extended time away.

 

As fellow passengers, we are not alone on our journey, even though we disembark at different stops. We are called to mutually reinforce each other to remain focused and on the trolley. We also beckon others to return when they do choose to hop off. We know that the longer the procrastination, the tuning out of God’s voice, or the resistance to what we know we should be doing, the bigger the risk that we will have pushed our luck too far. Helping each other is crucial in avoiding this. And best of all, God gives us the ultimate combination of tour guide, engineer, and conductor as we travel down the tracks. He did not build an entire system of stations, tracks, and trollies simply to have all the passengers jump off and leave on a whim. We are stewards of our trolley rides, that is, how we spend our time, and we’re asked to make it count.

 

Free will is an incredible gift, but it brings with it a responsibility to pay close attention to our actions, choices, time spent, and habits. There is a frightening sense of separation when our ride and security has faded out of view as a result of our personal choices. Imagine the sense of relief and joy when we do glimpse the trolley again on the horizon. Then imagine the elation when we finally climb safely on board after such a separation, especially if those greeting us on board are truly happy for us and not judgmental of our previous actions. Happy are those who are called to His supper. The parable of the prodigal son is told from the perspective of the welcoming father, but it sure feels good from the perspective of the returning child too! Conversely, the Lord knows all possible outcomes of each choice across a lifetime of choices. We bring Him great joy when we choose to return to our trolley, or better yet, to remain on board. Consider the alternative. How disappointed would He feel if He stepped up to the platform to embrace us as we disembark at our station, but we’re not on board to step off. Picture the scene as the Trolley then pulls out of the station, and Jesus turns around and has to walk away alone empty-handed instead of hand-in-hand?

 

The Trolley was inspired by a very vivid dream back in the 2000’s. Later on that same night, I recall awakening into a semi-lucid state and observing an image that reminded me of an old-fashioned photographic negative. I could see the outlines and silhouettes of dozens of people milling about aimlessly on a trolley station platform. Their trolley had apparently arrived and then departed while they were still further back on-foot, and their trolley continued on its way out of their sight and reach forever. When those passengers finally arrived at the station on foot, they began to realize in their confusion that it was too late, and they could not continue beyond the platform. These people waited too long to course-correct and squandered their allotted time. I believe I was granted a glimpse of their reality. Unfortunately they did not fulfill their intended life’s journey. Salvation is not a guarantee and tragically some people are misguided, oblivious, unbelieving, or uncaring, and are not on their trolley when it reaches their final station. It is understood and even recited that His blood will be poured out for you and for many, not for all. God of course wants all to be at His table, but realistically He knows there will always be those exercising their free will who don’t remain on their Trollies. God is merciful every step along the way, but He is also just. We have to try to put our free will to use and to do our part.

 

The Good News is that when we do hop off, the way back to our trolley is right there before us. The tracks are easy to follow, it just takes a commitment and determination to halt our lingering and return without further delay. We have His help and undivided attention if we’re sincere – it’s not meant to be a solo journey. Each of us also has an instant return option, even in the final moments before our trolley pulls into our final station! What a blessing. God has representatives with holy orders to help us in our sincere repentance. All we need to do is let Him know that we truly miss our relationship with Him, even more than those excursions, and that we’re sorry for any offense and for letting Him down. We repent and firmly resolve with His grace to remain on our trolley from that point forward, and the next thing we know we’re instantly snapped back on-board; best of all, there is no limit or quota to use up. We can then converse with Him as our tour guide but also as a fellow passenger on our Journey of Life, with us all the way to our station, whether it be the next one or miles down the track.

 

Pray: “Think of the little children who with one hand hold fast to their father while with the other they gather berries. If you handle the goods of this world with one hand, you must also always hold fast with the other to your heavenly Father’s hand, and turn toward him from time to time to see if you are pleasing him. Above all, be sure that you never leave his hand and his protection, thinking that with your own two hands you can gather more or get some other advantage.”

-Saint Francis de Sales, from Introduction to the Devout Life

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 02…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 02: The Misguided Cat

 

There once was a cat who took to walking into the shower stall whenever the water was turned off. He would spend several minutes licking the shower floor before walking out and shaking himself. One day he casually jumped up on the sink afterward as cats often do, and began to lick his paws. The owner was standing there getting ready for work and decided to brush his loving and loyal cat. The cat loved this and naturally began to make this his morning ritual, waiting patiently for his ‘spa treatment’ reward each morning. It didn’t take long for the cat to associate licking the shower floor with the invigorating brushings. The cat decided that licking the floor must be a good deed that pleased the owner, and that the owner was brushing him as a reward for doing such a good job. Perhaps the cat eventually felt that he deserved to be brushed for licking that stall so well. Look at me; I’m doing just what my owner wants me to do! If only the cat realized that the owner had brushed him as its own reward out of love, and would have done so whether or not the shower floor had been licked. The cat simply needed to ask/meow with kindness, respect, and an open heart and to jump up on the sink and interact with love and perhaps a purr…no shower licking required. Ironically, the stall-licking which the cat thought was exactly what the owner wanted and expected of him was at best a mild amusement, at least at first, but more often was an annoyance—even causing the owner to be late for work on occasion.

 

The cat’s actions were misguided even though he may have meant well and thought well of himself. Like the cat owner, God loves us unconditionally. And like the Pharisees from scripture, we often make incorrect associations or build up habits, attitudes, and behaviors that we think are pleasing to God, when in fact we have missed the point, and may even unknowingly mislead others. The behavior might be relatively benign and neutral but could be counter-productive in the same way the cat caused the owner to be late for work. It therefore wouldn’t hurt for all of us to occasionally take a step back and reassess and reflect on the things we do and the attitudes and behaviors we cling to so tightly to make sure they are truly serving God’s purpose and plans. We have all the examples we need in scripture and the lives of the saints, and we have spiritual advisors we can consult with just to be sure. It is all too easy to incorrectly associate rewards with actions and behaviors if taken out of context, just like our loyal but misguided cat, and so it is up to us to be aware of the possibility and to guard against it.

 

Pray: Lord, please help us to discern Your will and not what we think is Your will. Help us see the difference between humbly asking for direction to fulfill Your will, versus accomplishing goals and exhibiting behaviors that we think are pleasing to you when in fact they are not and we are doing so from our own human motivations.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 03…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 03: Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

 

Have you ever noticed that if we plot the strength of our Faith versus time on a graph it might look very much like an iconic stock market graph – the one with the jagged saw-tooth line with an upward arrow symbolizing long-term growth? Most of us would agree that Faith has ebbs and flows, fluctuations, and peaks and valleys over the course of our lives. Some days we feel like we have been granted a miraculous gift and have been permitted to catch the smallest glimpse of God’s wondrous deeds both large and small in our lives. In sports cliché, we are in the zone and the basketball hoop feels like its five feet in diameter. Other days we feel that we can’t do anything right or that we’re isolated and separated from God and full of doubt, and every shot is a brick or an air ball. If we zoom in too close to our stock market graph, we can see too many of the ups and downs, some of which can be pretty sharp and steep in either direction, but when we zoom out the individual fluctuations are less noticeable and the plot generally has an upward trend, sometimes even occasionally hitting all-time highs. We could all use a little zoom-out perspective every now and then in our lives to help us keep our faith in the right direction, especially on a down-turn day.

 

The Good News is that we have help—the ultimate financial advisor and gold standard. The Holy Spirit balances our portfolio and provides stability in tumultuous times. The Spirit provides reinforcement in countless ways, such as inspiration when reading scripture or associations with specific people that are opened up to us just when we need them, or listening to a homily that seems to be tailored specifically to our circumstances, or other signs if we’re paying attention. A young lady once prayed for guidance on which of two universities to attend. That evening, the pizza delivery man was wearing a sweatshirt from one of her choices. It’s all about awareness.

 

Remember the classic Lassie episodes? In one episode, a man is injured in a remote area. Lassie finds him and persistently nudges him with her nose to try and wake him up or to get him to save himself even as he mumbles for her to go away. Often we are like that man and the Holy Spirit is patient yet persistent, nudging us, trying to roll us over, but we are lethargic and resistant to the assistance. The best way to scrub and remove a stubborn carpet stain is not to brush in the same direction the entire time, but to keep coming at it from different directions, left-right, up-down, diagonal left, diagonal right, and then the stain comes away faster. The Holy Spirit knows to keep coming at us from different directions to motivate us in our growth so we can bear fruit. On the one hand I am deeply grateful that God has not given up on me and wants me to grow, no matter how many tests I fail. On the other hand, it makes me nervous that I might be close to a tipping point that warranted that personal attention and assistance. It’s always better to have a big lead going into the fourth quarter, rather than with a tie game or a deficit. One never knows when you’ll be taken out of the game and can no longer influence the outcome directly.

 

Have you ever driven a vehicle when the wheels are noticeably misaligned? If the grip on the steering wheel is loosened, the car begins to noticeably drift to one side or the other. Our faith journey and motivation is like that; it is seldom aligned correctly for very long. We have to work extra hard to keep the vehicle straight and on its intended path, although it can be done. If we’re in that state for too long, we begin to think it’s the norm and we no longer notice it’s misaligned. Once a professional alignment is performed, however, which definitely should be done periodically, the vehicle drives straight for long distances and with little effort or energy expended. That’s how it can be with us when we proactively reconcile with God.

 

So how do we diversify our portfolio to keep the long-term growth heading upward? Prayer and frequent use of the sacraments add diversification to our spiritual portfolio. They help us weather the storms and remain on that ever-upward trend despite the daily dips, major downturns, domestic or international crises, and even occasional recessions or crashes. We have spiritual guides such as priests that help us through the market pitfalls, looking at past performance and trends but also looking ahead. These guides help us make appropriate and necessary changes in our lives to maintain positive growth and with compounding interest, so we meet or exceed our spiritual goals. And best of all, the payout is far more rewarding than any investment dividends or even Fort Knox itself!

 

Lord, please help me grow in faith and to weather the inevitable downturns by keeping my eyes and heart centered on You always.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 04…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

Stop 04: The Sound Studio

 

Picture this scene: Jesus is sitting in a chair in front of the controls of an elaborate sound recording studio. Jesus is closely monitoring the ever-changing light bars of equalizer displays as they rise and fall with the rhythm of the “music”. In this case the “music” is a collection of every individual’s life choices represented by the fluctuating columns of light. In addition to the seven billion individual columns, there is an overall ‘averaged’ humanity column on the opposite wall. There is a horizontal line on the humanity bar that has been ordained to be the trigger point when Jesus would step through the studio’s door and return to Earth the instant it is reached.

 

Each individual’s sound bar also has a horizontal line, uniquely placed at a specific height tailored for each person. Every person whose personal light bar is above their line when they die is saved. Every person whose light is above their line when the master bar is triggered is also saved, should it happen in their lifetime. Every time a person dies and their light bar was above their line, the master bar lifts higher by a notch. Perhaps a saint can lift the master light bar multiple notches. Every time a person dies when their light bar is below their line, the master bar drops down a notch. The master light column will therefore fluctuate up and down over time but is gradually pushing upward with new high water marks per God’s plan, inching ever closer to the threshold. We can each do our part to elevate the humanity bar a notch, or even multiple notches – that’s a life well lived and a very unselfish way to think of our time on Earth.

 

We don’t know how high each of our own threshold lines is placed, so even though we may be above ours on any given day, it would behoove us to act in a way that assumes we’re not there yet so as not to become complacent. This might help instill a sense of urgency and add importance and awareness to both the small and great decisions in our daily lives. The last thing we would want is to be above the line the day before Jesus’s arrival, but to drop below it on the morning of judgment day, and we are called Home before we could take further action (such as the sacrament of reconciliation) to elevate our sound bar above our threshold again.

 

Who knows? Maybe the Lord calls some of us Home while we’re still just above our line for just that reason. For example, what if His statistics overwhelmingly show that we’re 99% likely to drop below our line the next day (since He knows all of the possible choices we could make for any given decision, including sinful behavior), and that day happens to also be the one originally prescribed for us to be called home. Perhaps He might send us all kinds of signs to alter our behavior if we’re paying attention, since we do have free will, but He might then call us home a day early as an act of mercy if we’re just not aware enough to see and heed the messages and warnings. Upon arrival at the Pearly Gates that person (and grieving loved ones) would not think of it as a tragedy but would thank God for His mercy, given the alternative…we simply cannot know the big picture from our limited perspective. If more folks thought about some of the many reasons a person might be ‘taken’ from them, perhaps they would be thankful for the time they had together and look forward to the future rather than angry at God for the loss. The person taken home is doing just fine and is with God, so maybe the act of mercy in that case is to help the people left behind elevate their own bars before it’s too late for them. When we ask God to deliver us from evil in the Lord’s Prayer, maybe in some cases “Deliver” actually does mean to be called Home and delivered back to God in the literal sense before we do something foolish and irreversible. God is Love but he’s also the ultimate statistician.

 

Consider this…what if at this very moment, the human race light bar is just a few notches from reaching that master line triggering Jesus’s return? It could be. Sure it’s more likely to be decades, centuries or even millennia away– we simply don’t know, but what if it is close? Have you ever seen store promotions where the millionth shopper is announced over the loud speaker, followed by balloons and confetti? Any one of us could potentially be that millionth shopper that puts the Humanity bar over its line – wouldn’t that be an amazing position to be in? If everyone lived their life thinking they could be the millionth shopper each and every day, what would the world be like? Each person would likely be consciously and hyper-aware of their actions, each person would feel empowered and important, and each person would continually strive to be the best version of themselves, making better choices.

 

So what is the starting point of our individual bars? Do they start at the bottom at birth and through our life’s journey we scrape and climb to push our light bars above our ordained lines? Perhaps a better way to think of it is that we start out at zero at birth, but we instantly shoot well above our lines with our baptisms and from that point forward we can continue to add margin and boost them even higher, or we can find ways to lower them through our actions, to the point of dropping below our thresholds. If only we could all receive a warning message whenever that happens; and maybe we do, but so many are simply oblivious to those warning messages or in denial.

 

And what if we do drop really far due to bad choices? Luckily with God’s grace our bars can jump up again in bursts, just like at baptism, thanks to Jesus’ directive to His apostles and disciples down through the millennia. It’s like adding instant credit to a debit card again. If we are truly penitent, we can be absolved of our sins, giving us a clean slate and a reset on our bar’s height. Regardless of how high the humanity bar is set and the number of lives it takes to eventually reach it— ten billion, a trillion, on Earth or throughout our Solar System, our relationship with God and our actions can hasten but also unfortunately delay how long it would ideally take for that wonderful threshold to be crossed. It would be humbling, wouldn’t it, to be told that as an individual we were directly responsible for keeping the entire humanity bar back, even by one notch.

 

Will the overall humanity bar ever be crossed? Some days it certainly seems like the humanity bar is plummeting and free will can be frightening when you see what some people are doing with theirs. Why does the bar always seem to drop rapidly, but rise painfully slowly? Fear not, it will eventually be crossed and every single person who ever lives can be a contributor to that eventuality – to hasten or to delay. Jesus will come again, and He did say at the last supper that His blood would be poured out for many. It would be great to see the humanity bar steadily climb, but we all know equalizers fluctuate up and down, so we can’t be demoralized by that.

 

We can picture Jesus eagerly watching that master bar, ready in an instant to return again. Being an outstanding producer, He sends out the Holy Spirit in our midst to help us raise our own bars and to make beautiful, harmonious music. But we have to do our part. If we could only see our decisions displayed visually by seeing our bars rise or fall on the sound mixer console, we might reconsider our actions (or inactions). If everyone pitches in and does their part, and encourages others to do so, even the tiniest voice (like Horton’s Who), then the greatest symphony any recording studio ever heard would manifest as the Humanity bar surges above its threshold. Let’s make great music together and make our record producer proud.

 

Lord, please help me put in an honest daily effort to keep my equalizer bar well above my threshold. Whenever I am faced with temptation, help me remember that my actions may lower my equalizer bar. Help me remember that my choices not only affect me and my eternity, but contribute meaningfully to Humanity’s bar, and may directly hasten or delay the time when we are all reunited with Him through His son, Jesus.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 05…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 05: The Ultimate Computer Virus

 

How does the Devil seem to know intimate details about each of us, always poised to take advantage when we slip up or to whisper just the right thing that is specific to us that nudges us over the edge to sin? Perhaps the answer is not mind-reading, but rather highly honed and skilled inference from 24×7 monitoring and scrutiny of our outward behavior and actions. In order to ascertain our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, the Devil merely has to put two and two together by constantly monitoring our actions—the ultimate Big Brother! Doesn’t that sound like modern computer hacker armed with Trojan horses, worms, virus attacks, and key stroke monitoring?

 

Let’s take an example. Say a person repeatedly visits a striptease club or visits pornographic websites. The Devil would know that person is susceptible to temptations in these areas without any mind-reading required, and the Devil would therefore focus resources and energy to further exploit that rather than waste his time in less meaningful temptations. For example, if a person frequently buys scratch-off lottery tickets or visits a casino, the Devil would look to exploit gambling addiction tendencies rather than racy ads. If a person watches too much TV or plays video games all day and seldom gets out to help others, wouldn’t that be obvious to a skilled observer and hacker, one who would then work to place even more TV shows and games as temptations and distractions in that person’s path, while simultaneously reinforcing it saying it’s okay and it’s not hurting anyone?

 

So how do we protect ourselves from traditional computer virus attacks? Our first thought would be to consult a computer expert or to use a software program to protect and clean our system. In a similar way, we have the power of prayer for protection and intercession and to consult with priests and religious. With computer use, there is no substitute for awareness and proactive protection as the first line of defense. For example, experts tell us to avoid untrustworthy websites that could be full of lurking Trojans and to avoid clicking on email attachments or embedded links from unknown senders, many of which look legitimate luring us in with phishing scams. We can employ the same strategies spiritually by avoiding places, situations, or people that can lead us to sinful behavior so that our consciences are not exposed to being ‘hacked’.

 

What are some symptoms of an infected computer? Sometimes it’s instantaneous and obvious with a lockout or a pop-up, but more often our systems gradually slow down and become less efficient, and we learn to live with it or rationalize it as something else if it’s gradual enough. We do the same thing spiritually. Sometimes we are on the road to ever expanding sins and behaviors and we don’t even realize it. We must therefore cultivate self-awareness and be on the lookout for this through daily reflection and introspection – a daily examination of conscience; even if we think we have adequate ‘firewall’ protection in place. Consider how computer viruses spread—people innocently send infected emails or attachments on to other people, friends and family. Sinful behavior can be like this. Those close to us, particularly children, watch us and are influenced by the things we do and say, and it therefore spreads and propagates even across generations when that wasn’t our intention at all. Our biases, bigotries, and addictions tend to spread outward in space and time like a computer virus unless they are recognized and kept in check, or better yet even quarantined or eliminated.

 

We typically clean our computer systems and remove a virus by running anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware programs which in turn require regular updates. We have these same tools spiritually. We can reconcile ourselves to God again through Jesus by sincerely acknowledging and repenting of our sinful behavior through the sacrament of Reconciliation, thereby ‘scrubbing’ our spiritual system clean again. So what happens to our computers if they don’t get periodically cleaned? They can eventually become so slow and bogged down that the system comes to a grinding halt, or they may become erratic, or they can even be used for unwitting nefarious purposes such as harming other systems. If we want to avoid that slow progression in our own lives we can make use of Reconciliation.

 

Constant vigilance, awareness and protective safeguards are essential. We should employ these on our computer systems and in our daily lives, in order to keep that ‘Devil Virus’ in check. He is constantly attacking and adapting and adjusting 24×7, probing for our vulnerabilities a hundred-fold more than any state-sponsored attacks ever could. He also seeks to use us to infect others and spread his virus ever wider, and so we must never let down our guard. And what about former hackers that we read about that now help the FBI? They often make the best advisors given their experience, perspectives, and skills. Just look at Saint Paul and his life and contributions. Most would argue they would not have been as effective without his prior life choices. Since we are all sinners, we can strive to be like these consultant hackers—learning from our sins and mistakes to help others rather than to be a denial of service. So let’s keep up our guard and do our part to not spread that D-virus any further.

 

Lord, help me establish and maintain all of the necessary protections, ranging from spiritual firewalls to anti-virus software to education, in order to guard against that ever-probing, far reaching, and so intrusive Devil hacker that seeds the world with viruses and worms.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 06…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 06: Associations and Reinforcements

 

One evening when I opened the front door, a bird flew through the doorway into the house. With two cats, it was a prolonged adventure to protect and ‘coax’ the bird out safely, which thankfully we eventually did. There’s no denying it was a very unusual and memorable event, which made it the perfect candidate for a prolonged theme that the Holy Spirit could utilize in my life. How does the establishment of a recurring theme help in discerning God’s plan for our lives and connections? Read on!

 

The next night I went to the local gym and began exercising on a treadmill in the cardio theater. I was stunned when I realized the movie was a film about ‘birding’ (The Big Year). I would not have thought twice about the movie under normal circumstances but that first incident was so dramatic and close in time that this movie now stood out as likely related. Once a theme is established in our minds by an initiating pair of events, all we need to do from that point forward is to be on the lookout for a new circumstance from the same theme, and to determine what aspect of that new circumstance is either a message, a clue to a follow-on message, or a personal connection that can in turn lead to other connections like links in a chain. At some point the theme will end or fizzle out either because we fulfilled God’s objective for that chain or because we failed to make a connection along the way and lost the thread.

 

There is no such thing as coincidence, only God-incidence. When I saw this birding movie, I instinctively raised my awareness level, placing myself on higher alert for anything or anyone that might now come into my life. I felt like a detective working on behalf of the Lord! I read once we can be Pilgrims or we can be Tourists with our time here on earth. Pilgrims are constantly searching rather than experiencing for experience’s own sake. Was there anything special about the movie itself, the locations or the actors, others in the room with me, or something yet to occur that evening? Maybe the movie itself was not the clue, but rather an intermediary link that reinforced the theme in preparation for an upcoming connection yet to be made, like a Holy scavenger hunt. I believe that was the case in this example. Once the Holy Spirit succeeds in establishing a theme in our minds and we acknowledge awareness in thanks and prayer, it becomes a powerful tool to communicate until a new theme is established in some other equally amazing way. All we can do when awareness is achieved is acknowledge it, remain humble, keep an open mind, stay alert, pray, and do our best to discern God’s plans for us.

 

These kinds of connections happen around us every day thanks to the Holy Spirit, and it is awe-inspiring when we’re blessed to catch a glimpse of it. So what did God want me to know or who did God want me to meet in this example? What association, temporary or long-term, did God want me to establish that would otherwise have gone unfulfilled like ships in the night? What amazing things could a new relationship guided by the Holy Spirit lead to? God works through us, with our feet and our hands and our creativity and our voices, and our collaborations. Would I be the one helping another person this time around, or vice versa, or both?

 

Several days later I was riding on a shuttle bus to a local event with my son. A man a few seats up mentioned casually to his son that he noticed a bird flying along outside the bus window. My ears perked up, given the theme and the unusual comment and circumstances. I know what you’re thinking. I went over and introduced myself and started a random and innocuous but probing conversation that yielded lasting fruit. Wrong. I hesitated. You see, we are only human and it takes discipline and practice to be effective ambassadors of God. This example may have seemed like a no-brainer in hindsight, but in the moment we can lose our faith just like Peter who briefly walked on water toward Jesus but then sank as self-awareness and doubt took hold. These opportunities can be fleeting so we have to be alert and ready. When you’re in the moment and action is required, it is easy to rationalize it away. I was alert, but not ready. It took me a second to make the initial connection and when realization dawned on me I felt taken by surprise; I froze, and I convinced myself this instance was not related. On this occasion circumstances required me to interact and I was not prepared.

 

Starting up conversations with strangers can be outside my comfort zone. I failed to explore the situation to see where it might have led and I will regret that. The window of opportunity was short and it was gone in mere moments. The one silver lining is that the failure to act led to this article, although perhaps that was the Holy Spirit’s intent all along. I did not bump into the man or his son again nor have I experienced any other bird-themed encounters since then, so I believe this theme’s thread reached its terminus.

 

Only God knows if the man or his son or someone they knew or said would have been an important connection or at least another link in the chain that would have led to something else. It could have been trivial or of no importance, but it felt like a missed opportunity, so it probably was. God went through the effort to establish the bird-themed ground-work tailored just for me, and it fizzled due to inaction on my part—it’s a good thing He has infinite patience with us because I probably let Him down that day. All we can do in those situations is acknowledge we may have blown it and to pray for forgiveness and learn from the experience. We might also pray to discern what might be holding us back in those situations, and pray that we’ll take proactive steps to be ready to respond the next time.

 

Let’s be on the lookout for the reinforced associations that occur in our lives, especially when they are sudden, unexpected, or initiated by something out of context that really stands out, like that bird thrashing around in my house. God has His own multimedia, and He communicates in countless different ways if we but open ourselves up to the possibilities. We long for affirmation and to believe we have discerned His will correctly. For example, thanks to a children’s story I wrote, and which I attribute to His inspiration, I now say Hi to the Holy Spirit whenever I see a thistledown tuft float by on the breeze. We have established that theme as a personalized means of two-way communication that has lasted several years now.

 

Recently I took a box of food items to the local food pantry and when I returned to my car, a thistledown tuft floated right by my windshield. Similarly, after helping out at a weekend CRHP church retreat, a tuft floated by just as I left the building. Many would say these were just a coincidence of timing and location, but to one seeing through the eyes of faith they are an affirmation to keep doing more of that or they simply convey well done and that He’s pleased. That’s especially apparent when this has happened in months when a thistledown tuft should not be out on the breeze. What combination of coincidental circumstances could possibly cause one to float by well out of season at just the right time?

 

So what will your next communication theme with the Lord be? For one of my friends, it’s a red cardinal. One flew into a church during a baptism ceremony and he now says Hi and thank you to the Lord whenever he sees one. I once had a chest injury and when I pop the ribs today it reminds me of how much worse it was and could be again; that kind of reminder and self-awareness keeps us humble and it’s another example of an opportunity to say Hi and thank you to the Lord multiple times a day…better than I-phone reminders! And the best part of all this? You don’t even have to be 100% sure. If you latch on to something repeatable as your theme, the Lord will adapt to it and work with you, or more likely, the Holy Spirit provided the inspiration for that theme to you in the first place. Try it and you’ll be amazed! Keep looking for new associations and their reinforcements and spend some quiet time with the Lord.

 

[_ Lord, You do so much for each of us individually and collectively every single day, 99% of which we are never even aware of. The 1% we do catch a glimpse of is enough to blow me away and bring me to my knees, and I am truly blessed. I pray that I will pay attention every day and be on the lookout for the signs of connections that will help me fulfill your plans with real action. _]

 

I sincerely apologize for those times when I have been oblivious to Your connections or when I missed the opportunity to continue the links in the chain through fear or inaction. I am comforted in knowing that when we do drop the ball, Your will is still fulfilled through me or through others with new connections to achieve the same end result.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 07…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 07: Tend Your Garden

 

Have you ever had a dream that you just know did not come from you – it could not have originated from your subconscious mind? It is simply out of character and out of context—or too complex for your skills and capabilities to develop. It’s like barely having the skills to take a picture yet dreaming that you’ve just directed an academy award-winning film. It’s like the Star Trek episode when Bones is given the knowledge on how to operate on Spock’s brain and it’s easy from that perspective, but impossible once he loses that knowledge. He remembers knowing without actually knowing. The reason why these dreams feel like they are not yours is hard to describe. They are rare and have a distinctly different feel during and after than most other ‘ordinary’ dreams. They feel more like memories or scenes that were actually observed. Upon reflection, they often have an important message. They are an opportunity for our own personal growth but they often also convey multi-layered messages to be shared with others. Details should be captured before they fade if possible. Through the eyes of faith, these special dreams are a gift and serve a purpose – they are not random or simply the day’s brain disk de-frags. The Trolley was one example of this for me; Tend Your Garden is another…

 

In Tend Your Garden, the dream began with a view of many small cottages side-by-side in a quaint village like the English countryside. Most had nice rich soil in the side and front yards with people busy tilling vegetables or pruning flowers, but my yard was unkempt and somewhat in disarray with patches of dirt and weeds. At some level, perhaps visually and verbally, I came away with one simple but powerful message….Tend Your Garden. As with all inspired messages, this one can be interpreted on many levels simultaneously and with different meanings and emphasis that changes over time. The first layer of discernment that I came away with was to guard against neglect— presumably neglect of people close to me. It’s easy to justify that working long hours, for example, is for the benefit of the family when it turns out seldom being present can have a far more detrimental effect.

 

I confess to having very little experience with gardening. However, many aspects of tending a garden are common sense and I began to see the power in the simplicity and personalized nature of this message. A gardener tends to think of him or herself as a steward, rather than the owner of their garden. A personal garden is typically near the home and is readily accessible. A garden will suffer from neglect including failure to water and fertilize, and a garden, whether vegetables or flowers, requires personal, close, and constant attention in order to survive and thrive. The proximity allows the caretaker to readily enjoy the benefits of a healthy garden every day. This may include picking a fruit or enjoying the colors or the fragrance of a flower or visiting butterflies and bees, or simply watching others enjoy it. In other words, the efforts are rewarded in many ways and on many levels.

 

Unfortunately, neglect is not the only obstacle to a healthy garden. Outside influences such as pests and weather are every bit as harmful and the caretaker must be vigilant and ready to counteract these. What constitutes outside influences? For many it could be the hustle and bustle and distractions of the modern world, the demands to climb the corporate ladder, the need for instant gratification, or addictions that affect our health, relationships, or that sap our precious time away from us.

 

If I needed to Tend my Garden, what constituted my own personal Garden? It could be relationships with my friends, family, community, even the environment, as well as my own personal physical, mental, and spiritual health. These all require constant attention in order to thrive, and for various reasons including apathy, selfishness, self-centeredness, laziness, embarrassment, or even fear, we often avoid doing the necessary work, and it is work, to maintain our gardens. A garden embodies growth and if it needs tending to, that implies there may be stagnation that needs to be addressed, including spiritual stagnation. There may also be a lack of consistent action despite good intentions. A garden will not thrive with only sporadic care and maintenance. There are also many examples in scripture of what it means to be productive and how to yield good fruit. It is easy to be overwhelmed into inaction by all the problems that need attention in the world, but there is an expression “Grow Where You are Planted”. This does not mean that we shouldn’t help when we see earthquake victims on the other side of the globe, but it does mean that we shouldn’t lose focus on the problems, pain, and issues right here around us in our local communities and families either. We are right where God wants us to be. Francis de Sales was convinced that God sees humanity as a great and varied garden, each person beautiful in his or her uniqueness, but just as beautiful in a different way when viewed from a distance and from different angles and elevations. The various callings of life are like the various flowers of the field; God loves them all individually and as a whole.

 

Lord, we can all benefit from the simple yet powerful message Tend Your Garden. I thank you for showing me and others where we are often lacking and how to reverse neglect and stagnation in all aspects of our lives to bear good fruit in Your name.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 08…All Aboard!

 

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 08: Making the Connections

 

The Holy Spirit works amazing miracles every day on Earth through the infinite interactions of people, circumstances, and events from the mundane to the monumental. So what can we hope to achieve as mere human beings compared to that? God works through us, not in spite of us, and simply being open to that and having a willingness to participate is the key. What about when we are weak, angry, afraid, lazy, or confused? That’s when the examples and words of Jesus are so important in our lives. Even though God has given us free will, He knows all possible outcomes of every choice each of us has ever faced or ever will face and He can therefore compensate accordingly regardless of each of our choices. God can and does fall back to Plan B or even Plan ZZZ when necessary, because of His infinite patience, understanding, and love for us. Sometimes we are the Plan B to someone else’s choice. Even though God’s plan is still achievable through other means when we are selfish or let Him down, it must be pleasing to Him when we do try to make things easier by doing our part. He knows when our cooperation comes from our humble desire to please Him and to help fulfill His plans.

 

Picture a classic movie like Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, with wondrous machines steered by valves and dials, knobs and levers. Each of our associations and connections with other people can be compared to one of these knobs or levers—it’s there for a specific purpose as part of the machinery of the greater whole to reach a destination and fulfill a goal. When we live in fear and remain sequestered or isolated, the Holy Spirit has far fewer knobs, levers, and dials available to turn and pull to achieve an amazing result. When we make the effort to interact and leave our comfort zones, however, the resources that the Holy Spirit has to work with grow exponentially. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. We are all uniquely positioned in life with special talents and skills. Have you ever wondered why you were in the right place at the right time so that you could help someone or be helped by another? Maybe you were the reason someone else was in the right place at the right time?

 

A friend once shared that he postponed a flight home to the next day, when his seriously ill daughter miraculously recovered in the hospital after her friend had prayed over her. Two of his relatives had previously agreed to pick him up at the airport and could do so the next day as well. On the way to the airport these men drove by a car that had just rolled off the highway. They saved that driver’s life by providing immediate medical assistance. They would have never been there to render aid had the flight not been postponed, which in turn would have not happened if the daughter had not recovered. Through the eyes of faith it was all connected in multi-layers. The Holy Spirit takes full advantage of opportunities like this by making use of our personal connections. God really does help those who help themselves. What happens when we take the easy or lazy way out and choose to stay at home instead of doing something that we know we’re called to do? If we could see a tally of all our missed opportunities it would probably be staggering.

 

Despite our good intentions, we are human and we can be selfish, lazy, or self-centered. We should not be too hard on ourselves though, when we occasionally fail to act or take the time to discern, unless it becomes a consistent and long-term trend. We can ask for forgiveness and the courage and strength to do better next time, as the Little Flower Saint Therese of Lisieux recommends in her writings. The Lord will still achieve His plan through other means or other people and circumstances if it is His will; it just may take a different path or take a little longer than it would have otherwise. We would never know the difference in our timeline. The more we get out there and follow Jesus’ lead, and the more we are willing to make associations with humility and with an open heart and an open ear, then the more we are pleasing God and helping to fulfill His will. Only God knows the true impact, usefulness, or potential of any specific decision or connection we make, so the best solution is to get out there and give the Holy Spirit as many knobs and handles, dials, and levers to turn and pull as we possibly can! We can put in an honest daily effort. Picture an 1800’s steam engine and the dozens of gauges and levers in front of the engineer and even above…the train starts out slowly but it gains momentum, often with only small valve adjustments. We never know how far reaching the ripple effects can be from the example we set and the two-way connections we make and reinforce and nurture over the course of our lives.

 

Lord, grant me the courage to keep making connections with other people, in person and indirectly through other media, especially when it involves going outside my comfort zone. I want to provide you with as many connections as I can every day, so you in turn can work with them exponentially to create miracles and to fulfill Your will on Earth.

 

Our Trolley Line Stops (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 09…All Aboard!

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 09: The Home Equity Line of Life

 

There once was a popular chain email going around that described how our time on Earth could be equated to daily allocations of prize money. In the email, it states: imagine that you had won a contest in which a deposit of $86,400 is placed in your personal account each morning. The one caveat is the prize comes with rules.

 

1. The money that you do not spend during the day is removed.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account or accumulate it.

3. You may only spend it.

Each morning, the bank opens your account with a fresh $86,400.00 for that day.

 

1. The bank can end the game without warning. At any time it can say, “The game’s over!”

2. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

 

What would you do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right?

Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and your friends as well?

Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent, and use it all?

 

This game is Life.

Each of us is in possession of such a “magical” bank. We just can’t seem to see it.

The bank is Time.

 

Each morning we receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us. What we haven’t lived up to that day is forever lost. Yesterday is forever gone. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time, without warning.

 

What will you do with your 86,400 seconds?

Aren’t they worth so much more than the same amount in dollars?

Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

 

This email serves its purpose and does get you thinking, which is not a bad thing. I would argue, however, that this picture is incomplete. Perhaps a home equity line of credit analogy would be more fitting than a contest with a no-strings-attached prize. God is generous, but life is not a one-sided gift. Consider the following…the daily deposits from the bank should perhaps instead be thought of as a daily line of credit with terms and conditions attached, with responsibility and obligation, and not a free and clear prize to be used any way we please. We are stewards, not owners, of the ‘money’, i.e. the time granted to us to be spent on Earth, and it is intended to be spent with a purpose that we are each uniquely qualified to spend appropriately. The ‘money’ is not to be spent randomly on a whim each day, even with the best of intentions, without at least an attempt at forethought or discernment. Like any good household budget, there is an amount allocated for personal spending and entertainment, which is fine within reason, but like any formal loan or budget, that would only be a small percentage of the total allocation that pays the bills. There are repayment obligations as you go too, as well as a repayment period. Even children with allowances often have three jars: one for Give, one for Spend, and one for Save…it’s not just one for Spend.

 

The ‘banker’ knows how much money, that is time, we have with our loans (i.e. the # of days of our line of credit term), but with our free will we often spend the money unwisely or frivolously and that can unfortunately result in early depletion of funds, bankruptcy, or even foreclosure. As with any loan, when faced with such prospects we can and should communicate with the bank to make an arrangement if things are getting bad before it’s too late, so we can hopefully take advantage of our full line of credit. The bank is understandably frustrated and disappointed when the full term of a loan is not met, but conversely the banker is overjoyed when He receives the maximum interest return. The banker also likes it when we communicate the details of how things are going each day, week, and month, and the banker is patient and understanding when adjustments need to be made to the loan structure.

 

If we maintain an open relationship with the banker during the credit term and we put in an honest effort not to fall behind on our payments, then once the borrowed amount is paid off, the real payoff is realized, and no additional payments are needed to maintain that residence!

 

Lord, please help me be a good steward of the time that you are providing to me each month. I understand that there are terms and conditions to pay back this loan. Help me keep you up to date on how I’m spending your line of credit and especially if I’m starting to fall behind on re-payments so we can work together and I can get back on track.

 

Our Trolley Line Stations (Northbound Route). Next Up, Stop 10…All Aboard!

01 The Trolley

02 The Misguided Cat

03 Does Faith Behave Like the Stock Market?

04 The Sound Studio

05 The Ultimate Computer Virus

06 Associations and Reinforcements

07 Tend Your Garden

08 Knobs, Handles, Dials, Levers – Making the Connections

09 The Home Equity Line of Life

10 Holy Inception

 

Stop 10: Holy Inception

 

For those that have seen the Hollywood movie Inception, it is an interesting premise with a team of experts that can insert themselves into a person’s sub-consciousness during sleep and implant an idea so that when the person awakens they think the idea is their own and they act on it. As an author, I know firsthand what it’s like to experience a variation of this – when the Holy Spirit provides an inspiration (the word itself means ‘of the spirit’) – an idea that literally sprouts from nothingness. Over time you learn to recognize it and acknowledge it (and even sometimes pray for it when you have writer’s block!). When you quiet your mind you can almost feel it percolating like a growing bubble into a thought or concept. Writing can feel like a partnership or collaboration in which the Spirit provides the inspiration and I provide the necessary fingers on the keyboard in this physical world. This applies to nearly any pursuit, of course, not just writing. I believe we all crave some guidance that we believe comes directly from God, who sees the Big Picture and has specific plans for us and those we touch – an Inception that we can trust in and gives us purpose.

 

Most of us like to believe we have independence and autonomy. Some people may therefore fear or even resent this idea of implanted inspiration, and would consider it to be an intrusion on our privacy. I have the opposite point of view and take comfort in the idea that there is a team effort and collaboration going on in the often difficult journey through life. I believe God respects people’s wishes if they prefer to say thanks but no thanks, however. I make it a point to say a little thank you when an idea pops into my head and I take notice of it. If I’m wrong and it’s just my own subconscious mind then I’m no worse off, and if I’m right then it’s a blessing truly worthy of a thank you.

 

If these inceptions are initiated by the Holy Spirit, they are by default good and trustworthy and are for the benefit of many, even when it’s not obvious. And since we are created in His image and we’ve been given the gift of creativity, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is Parental joy and satisfaction in seeing us run with whatever seed of an idea is planted, and a little thrill in seeing which version of the infinite possibilities (and He knows them all) is the one that we actually follow. I like to think God enjoys the artistic creations of his creations for their own sake and beauty as well as the multi-layered purposes they are meant to fulfill (such as this little article, perhaps). And he does it with gentle guidance and nudges. What would be the fun in it if He was guiding every brush stroke of a person’s painting? We have only to be humble, pay attention, pray for correct discernment, and then take action. One never knows if an implanted idea is meant to be small and subtle and will take time and even generations to reach fulfillment, or if it is meant for grand purposes, perhaps even in the short term.

 

Lord, please deliver to me your Inspirations whenever you deem it appropriate or necessary. Help me be open and welcoming to them and to recognize them when they do come. I am grateful for the gift of free will, and I humbly and enthusiastically invoke my free will to specifically ask for Your Inspirations, not to reject them as intrusive. I sincerely apologize for the times that I have overlooked, missed, misinterpreted, or simply not recognized Your Inspirations because I was too busy or distracted by the tugs of this world, but even more so for the times that I suspected an Inspiration but took no action or delayed too long for it to still be relevant and useful to You for its intended purpose.

 

Greetings again, fellow passengers. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me on this Trolley Line, Northbound Route, and its ten stations. Other routes and stations may eventually be added to our spiritual journey’s transportation network. Feel free to add a comment and let me know. I hope to see you all on the trolley line!– All Aboard!

 


The Trolley Line

  • Author: Mark Jean-Luc Matthews
  • Published: 2017-04-13 06:50:10
  • Words: 11591
The Trolley Line The Trolley Line