When Your Life Gets Derailed
Spiritual Direction

When Your Life Gets Derailed

Last week I wrote about the importance of telling your story. How you sharing your stories might be the very thing on this trip that hauls someone out of the gutter. I’ve talked of not hiding. Maybe you’ve already experienced a saving grace because of an experience someone shared with you.

No one has a right to snuff out your light or foghorn your voice. Because sharing our stories is the only way out of whatever mess we find ourselves in. Or whatever supreme delight we want to share in invitation and community.

The possibility of derailment is always lurking and present. (Even as simple as distraction.) Another name for negativity, resistance, the enemy. But what a great theme to work with. Derailment. Let’s just run naked with this analogy for second.

When a train is derailed, new tracks have to be built. Until then, the current mode of transportation is lost, broken, unable to fulfill its original function. (Friends, for the sake of analogy – no one has died on this train. No lives have been lost – though if you want to go very deeply down the rabbit hole of train analogies there’s, no doubt, much to be gleaned by that as well.) But for now, we have enough of a hiccough to stop us on our way completely. Enough that decisions must be made.

So the train is stopped indefinitely. You must get out and walk. The walk might be very long. Maybe when the tracks are fixed the train will catch up. Maybe you’ll be ready to hop back on. Maybe you’ll like walking better. Maybe you already got to your destination while smelling roses albeit having been “blessed” by bird dooble upon your head along the way.

Maybe you changed course and found a different path altogether. And you like it. A lot. Maybe the different path got you to the same location. Yet you found yourself made whole in a way you never could have imagined. Or you end up somewhere much to your surprise happier than you ever dreamed. (This happened to me. I married my husband after a 29 year self-imposed wait. Oh what a story that is.)

Or you just sat there on that train. Sat there waiting. With your baggage. Waiting for construction to take place. Waiting for those tracks to be fixed for you. You were committed to the train on that path, you paid your fare and by golly….!

You’ll just have to start again.

Maybe you’ll fly next time.

Wait though. Was this a family trip?
Are you all in this together?

Yet feel like you are traveling alone?
Did you find a new tribe?

Did your journey turn into a pilgrimage
Meeting other pilgrims on the way
Coming and going speaking of their train derailments?
Did you go or stay?

How are your feet these days?
Walking with holes in your shoes.
Or is easier to just walk barefoot in the rain?
Sometimes, though, there’s broken glass.
Sometimes Staph infections.
They can kill.
But if you watch your step and listen to True,
The glass can turn into
Sweet green grass beneath your pads.

What are you saying to yourself as you walk,
Run, hop, skip
For a while.

What tripe are you listening to?
And who told you that?

What are you praying?
Oh we are all praying to something
Or someone
All of the time.

Are you still talking about your derailment?
Or have you moved on?
Ok fine. Can you talk about it
As you put one foot
In front
of the other?

Well. That’s good.
Though it may take a long time…

So tell your stories.
I’ll tell you mine.
Well keep each other
As company
On this trip Divine.