We were getting ready to leave the other day and Carter asked if he could bring his “broke train” with him in the truck. Without batting an eye, I told him that he could. You see, in our house “broke train” is just one of the toys that Carter regularly plays with. In the beginning, he got really frustrated that we couldn’t get the battery to work. He begged us to fix it and no matter what we tried, we could not get the battery connection to fire properly. After a while, he stopped asking for help to fix the train and he accepted the fact that the train was simply broken. Soon he began to use it like it was without even thinking about what it would be capable of if it was working properly. Now, “broke train” is a toy that Carter carries around with him everywhere and the whole household has accepted “broke train” just like it is.
As soon as I told Carter he could bring “broke train” with us in the truck, my mind switched gears into life application mode. I accepted the fact that this toy was broken, so much so that it was even in it’s name. If it was so easy to accept this broken toy, how easy might it be to accept other “broken” things in my life without batting an eye?
I started thinking about all of the things that we as Christians write-off as “small struggles” in our lives. Maybe it’s a bad habit or attitude. Maybe even a sour relationship. In the beginning, we may recognize these “broke trains” in our lives, get frustrated with ourselves, and seek help to change them. After a while of striving with no success, we stop trying to fix these “broke trains” and simply accept them as being a part of our lives. Soon, we go about life without even thinking about what we could be capable of if the “broke trains” were working properly. Now, these “broke trains” are a burden that we, as Christians, carry around with us everywhere, and even those around us have accepted our “broke trains” as a part of who we are.
I have been thinking about this comparison all week long. So many times I just write things off as, “Well, that’s always been hard for me and always will,” or, “That’s just the way I’ve always been,” or, “I can’t beat that, I’ve tried already.” When I do that, I’m accepting those “broke trains” as reality; but more than that, I’m not allowing God to be bigger than those bang-ups and hang-ups in my life.
It’s okay for Carter to accept his “broke train” as it is, but for us, I think we need to examine things a little closer, work a little harder, and surrender things a lot more.