Footprints of His Providence
(God Protects from Train Wreck)
In June, 1985 I was trying to take the train from Chicago to Carbondale, IL.
It was Friday and I was anxious to be home by sundown.
I arrived at the station at 6 a.m. Stood in a growing line.
Told the ticket agent, "Carbondale, IL please,"
She handed me the ticket. I took it and sat down to read a book.
Part way through it I had a strong impression to recheck the ticket.
I carefully looked at it. No mistake. It said, "Carbondale, MO not Carbondale, IL.
By this time the line snaked across the station. I dutifully went to the back of it.
The ticket agent apologized for making the mistake. Handed me the right ticket to Carbondale, IL.
One of the workers pointed me to the 'right' train. I hopped on and sat down.
A few minutes later an uneasy feeling crept over me.
I began asking people "Where is this train going?" Not one person knew where they were going.
Finally a conductor arrived on the scene. "So where is this train going?" I asked him.
"To Iowa," he replied. "You'd better get off now," he added.
Just then the train started rolling out of the station.
My suitcase was thrown out the window and landed with a thud on the pavement below.
I stood there bewildered.
"Sir, then where is the train to Carbondale, IL?" I added.
"There it is." He pointed to a train leaving the station
"When is the next train?" I asked.
"That was the only one for today," came the reply.
This meant that I had to be taxied across the city to a bus station.
I was told the bus was about to leave. Once more I stood in a very long line. Hoping I would make it in time.
I sensed that God had a reason for all the inconvenience.
I arrived in Carbondale hot, tired and worn out 15 hours later at 9 p.m.
As I sank into bed that night I thanked God for keeping me through the day.
Several days later I read in the paper that the train I should have been on had derailed.
It had hit several large haystacks left on the track by an accident.
All the people had to be taken to the hospital.
With clear vision I now saw how God's loving care purposely orchestrated the standing in endless lines so that I would be spared a disaster. It overwhelmed me that the God of the Universe should be that interested in a young teacher from southern Illinois.
I prayed that I would always be aware of the "Footprints of His Providence."