Photo Prayer 2019-23 -- Two Tickets To Paradise

I recently bought two tickets to Paradise — round-trip tickets for my wife and I aboard the Strasburg Rail Road, an excursion train led by Locomotive 90, a coal-burning wonder of steel and steam pulling passengers across the Amish countryside to a town called Paradise. Because I love my church with its pews and organ, because I teach at a museum with walls and art, because I read printed words in books and newspapers, I fear that I and these institutions may be like steam railroads and like the Amish — anachronistic and irrelevant in our frenzied modern society. But a little reflection and prayer remind me that everyone fears they cannot keep up. Everyone is anxious not to be left behind, as though you, God, were not lord of every change. Teach us to trust, to relax, and to enjoy the ride.

Photo of a boy admiring Locomotive 90 of the Strasburg Rail Road, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Photo and text copyright 2019 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Donna wrote:
Great thought...We have to preserve these kind of institutions. Just like I will never give up real books for digital ones. Thanks for the inspiring post!
Danny replied: I recently read John Steinbeck’s “The Winter of Our Discontent” on my iPhone. That is not my preferred method of reading. I too prefer paper. But Sunday night I suddenly realized that my book group was only 24 hours away and I had yet to buy the book, much less read it. So I purchased the e-book. Immediately it was on my smartphone. And, because my smartphone has a large screen and because I am very near sighted, it was not a bad experience, just not a good one.
Hugh wrote:
Danny replied: You remind me that, in addition to being anachronistic, the Strasburg Rail Road is a lovely place, a place to set aside cares; not only an opportunity to step into the past, but an escape from the present, like any theme park. Lovely indeed! Churches, museums, and books can be escapes. My church tries not to be an escape but a temporary haven. Services end with the celebrant saying, "Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit!”
Barbara wrote:
Two Tickets to Paradise!😍
Danny replied: I thought of that song as I bought the tickets!
Tracey wrote:
I can remember riding that train as a little girl. Wow, that was so exciting! I wish I'd appreciated my hometown, with its Amish, steam locomotive, and endless fields more when I was a little girl. My, Lancaster has changed - but I'm glad you get to enjoy some of what it was so many years ago!
William wrote:
My wife and I took the train from Chicago to Oakland a few years ago and it was a wonderful trip. We had a great attendant who gave us an extra room for a part of the trip (so we could both sleep on a lower bunk). It was fun to watch the scenery go by. The folks we met were lovely and nice; the dining car food was good. After Denver we ascended the Rockies and from our window you could see the back of the train as it curved up the mountains. Unfortunately we got into the Sierras and there was a fire near Tahoe so the final leg of the trip was smokey.

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