Life. There’s so much of it to ruminate on.
Lately my rumination into life has taken me to thoughts of lasting impressions and last trains. And to a question I doubt I’ve asked myself before: How many human beings have I encountered in my life?
Let’s see . . .
Like you, life began with my mother. The doctor who delivered me. My father who held me. The nurses who tended me. My brothers.
It progressed from my home to church, school, doctors’ offices, hospitals, courtrooms, highways, stores, libraries, restaurants, offices, playing fields, neighborhoods, entertainment venues, buses, planes, ships, trains, a family of my own, and on and on.
Only God knows the number.
Like you, most of the folks I’ve encountered left no impression whatsoever. I was only vaguely aware we shared the same general space. If they disappeared, I’d notice the empty spaces but not the people who had filled them.
A handful left fleeting impressions. I could’ve told you some tidbit about them at the time, but I forgot them in minutes or hours, sometimes days.
Others left more significant impressions that stayed with me for weeks or months. Some, even years. But even they have faded now.
But a few—a select and unique few—have left such deep impressions on my thinking, feeling, and behaving that I’ll carry them with me until my body or memory fails.
As it turns out, purely coincidentally, one of those is the only train engineer I’ve known. His name is Eddie Largen. And he’s preparing for the end of his life.
It isn’t because he was a train engineer, although that does set him apart.
Nor is it because of his good looks. He’s been easy on the eyes all his life.
It isn’t because he’s a Christian, although that is true.
It isn’t because we married into the same family. We did.
Nor is it because he’s a sterling son, husband, father, and grandfather. He is.
I‘ll remember Eddie for his unabashed, authentic enthusiasm. It’s unforgettable.
Unabashed. Eddie is enthusiastic whether others share his fervor or not. His passion finds its own time and place.
Authentic. There’s no need for Eddie to fake or force enthusiasm. It’s part and parcel of WHO he is.
Enthusiasm made Eddie a skilled train engineer who stayed the course in more ways than one. He provided a stable home and legacy for his girls and grandchildren and love and security for his wife, Sandra.
Enthusiasm has made Eddie a well-groomed gentleman. An able builder. An exceptional singer. Bible student. Christian. A devoted son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. Friend.
Eddie’s Last Train
Eddie’s enthusiasm will translate into Glory. I can see him now—meeting, greeting, shaking hands and chewing the fat. Laughing. Singing. Enjoying a banquet. Running with his arms stretched wide and hollering, “Jesus! Jesus!”
Move aside, angels and saints. Eddie Largen’s last train is coming ’round the bend.
You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
John 16:20b NIV