I’ve heard it said that some train until they get it right, while others train until they get it wrong. What’s that mean? Well. . .
Quite a while ago, while bumming around India, I was blessed to contract a persistent stomach bacteria, which came and went in varying degrees of severity for a number of months. I was just a day ahead of the monsoon rains, which made my travels especially hot and humid, with little relief. Despite this I was given the grace to take it all in stride.
On one particular adventure/trial, I travelled in last class on a train with two Brits and two Sweds. We ran into each other while trying to find a few feet of space in a crowded train car. One of them gained access to the overhead baggage shelf that was empty, and we all clamored up to join him. There we rode for twenty-three hours and twenty-three minutes. At the time, I hadn’t known where I was to go, only that I was to be on that train. I’m not sure which pair of guys, the Brits or the Sweds, was headed to Kashmir, but we all thought that a good place to visit. We deboarded the train and hopped a bus north into the mountains of Kashmiri. As the bus arrived, local rental agents boarded suggesting houseboats to stay on. I, along with the Brits and Sweds and a Jordanian man, teamed up to rent a houseboat from one of the rental agents. We deboarded the bus and were led across a path to the lake and a large houseboat.
Everything was perfect. Well, sort of. The picture-perfect houseboat turned out to be moored by a sewerage outlet from the town. But it only stunk during the day. While the rental included three meals a day, my stomach issues returned with a vengeance, and I could barely eat. But atop the houseboat in the cool of the evenings we all sat around and talked. Despite everything, I was apparently successful at displaying my faith in Messiah Y’shuaJesus, and they saw and leaned something that was meant for them. At the end of our weeks aboard the houseboat, we all went different ways. I hopped the bus south, connecting to a train bound for New Delhi. As always, the train was packed. I found a foot of space in which to place my backpack and kneeled over it and slept all the way to Delhi. The training of these trials was going well. I seemed to be getting it right this time. That seemed to be the point of the trails, to get through them all and to do so while getting it right.
As the train pulled into the station in New Delhi, my stomach was acting up again, and I need to find a loo, as the Brits call it. I managed to stand up. But try as I might I just couldn’t make any headway to the door, as crowds of people tried to push their way into the already packed train car. Al of a sudden I stood to my full six-feet-five-inches and roared. I must have looked to the Indians as a giant bear about to attack. They pulled themselves out of my way. And. . . I’ll not soon forget the old man that was just steeping up onto the car as I barreled through the doorway. His hat fell from his head onto the step. I nearly ran him down. I nearly crushed his hat beneath my feet. I don’t know, but think I did at least retrieve his hat for him. As I walked down the platform, I felt horrible. I’d been doing so well. I’d been getting it so right. My trials took me to that point of success and beyond, until I broke. I found myself realizing exactly what I was capable of. I had it in me to be the worst of the worst. I was overwhelmed. At the same time, I realized that I liked myself. I Liked Myself. I’d trained to get it right, but went beyond and got it wrong. To The Point That I Broke Me. Now I could see myself as G-d sees me, saved through the salvation of Messiah Y’shuaJesus. He and only He experienced a life on Earth getting it totally right, without sin. He died that I might live. I’d known that. But as I walked the platform in search for a loo, I Knew It. And I knew it in a much more pure way.
Train beyond getting it right; train until we get it wrong. Then understand our condition on Earth and the Salvation from G-d.