Sunday, August 9, 2009


    The little blue engine looked up at the hill.
    His light was weak, his whistle was shrill.
    He was tired and small, and the hill was tall,
    And his face blushed red as he softly said,
    “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

    So he started up with a chug and a strain,
    And he puffed and pulled with might and main.
    And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time,
    And his engine coughed as he whispered soft,
    “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

    With a squeak and a creak and a toot and a sigh,
    With an extra hope and an extra try,
    He would not stop — now he neared the top —
    And strong and proud he cried out loud,
    “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”
    -Shel Silverstein

    I read this poem for the first time, again, yesterday. I read this as a child, Where the Sidewalk Ends, was one of my favorite books growing up. This is a pretty classic tale. We're all familiar with the Little Engine that could, and the Little Blue Engine here seems on the verge of the same sort of triumph. We all love this story, we love it for the same reason we love Rocky and Hoosiers. We want to see the little guy triumph, we want to believe its possible to defy the odds. We love these stories because at times we all feel like the underdog. The deck just seems to be stacked against us. I feel that way now. These last few months I've felt like Rocky in the first 14 rounds against the Russian. I love the progression in The Little Blue Engine. In the first parts of the poem he He blushes and coughs and whispers soft, "I think I can." Eventually he starts to see the top of the hill, he begins to believe he may be able to do the impossible, strong and proud he cries out loud, "I think I can."

    I think I may be starting to see some light at the end of my own tunnel. At times the unthinkable seems almost possible. Sometimes.

    He was almost there, when — CRASH! SMASH! BASH!
    He slid down and mashed into engine hash
    On the rocks below... which goes to show
    If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
    THINKING you can just ain’t enough!

    I've had a few of these moments this week to. It seems silly to think that just because I finish flight school things are going to get better. I know how the industry works, I know what the economy is like. Thinking and hoping just aren't going to be enough. I'm not afraid I won't be good enough, I can fly. In ways I don't understand God's been preparing me to do it my whole life. Flying feels a lot like standing at the alter with my wife, or holding my daughter in the hospital. I know its right, and I know I can do it. The question becomes; how do I go from thinking it may be possible to making it happen for myself? This is question I've been wrestling with.

    Its funny how God meets you in places you'd never thought you'd be at times you least expect. I got to go to church today for the first time in a long time. I was tired and worried and discouraged, I was hoping for peace and rest. I found both. I'm thankful for a church that seeks truth in everything it does, from what the pastor says to what the band plays:

    You're the God of this City
    You're the King of these people
    You're the Lord of this nation

    You're the Light in this darkness
    You're the Hope to the hopeless
    You're the Peace to the restless

    For greater things have yet to come
    And greater things are still to be done in this City
    -Chris Tomlin

    Am I still worried about finding a job? You bet. The track is tough and the hill is rough. The last thing I want to be is engine hash on the rocks below, and I've seen enough of the way God works to know that, for him, that might not be the worst thing to have happen. Believing in and serving a God that is completely sovereign is a terrifying thing. Coming to a place where you can choose his glory of your own prosperity is maybe the most difficult of man's duties. I'm not there, but I've had flashes. I've seen enough to know that I don't want to be in this alone. With things as dark and difficult as they are there is only one source of light and hope and peace powerful enough to drive out the doubt I often carry. He is King of this city, and I'm confident that if we stay around long enough we just may see some great things.

1 comment:

melanie said...

this is ramble-y, and i apologize in advance: i can't wait for next sunday! i'm so glad you get to be a part of the lg discussion, especially given the subject matter. and that song totally moved me on sunday, too, especially the "greater things are still to be done in this city" line. i'm glad sunday rose up to meet you. (see? i knew you had more to write about than slinging 2x4's, or whatever nonsense you said.)