Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Big boys, tiny trains and a REALLY BIG God

They say that the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Bitter Creek Western Railroad certainly confirms that sentiment.

Located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, BCWR is a 7.5 inch scale model railroad. Over a dozen times each year fully grown men descend on Bitter Creek bringing their expensive toy trains with them. Costing thousands of dollars, these intricate replicas burn coal and generate steam - enough that the wannabe engineers can pull true-to-scale box cars, log haulers and passenger coaches along the 1.2 mile mainline.

Oil cans in hand, weekend railroaders wipe smudges from their cheeks with their blue bandanas as they ready their trains prior to riding them - yes, riding them - down the tracks through four tunnels and across six bridges and trestles surrounded by a ponderosa pine studded landscape.

The railroad is owned by Karl, an otherwise regular guy who wanted a place for his friends to meet and play with trains. He has succeeded in making enormously big steam engines small enough for regular people with regular wallets to live out their childhood dreams.

Don't Christians do something similar? Aren't we called to proclaim a transcendent God in ways that finite people can wrap their heads around? We make the infinite accessible - as much as it is possible.

Paul, a first century Christian missionary wrote, " . . . we are Christ’s ambassadors . . . "

Karl Hovanitz is rightly regarded as the preeminent "Model Railroad Ambassador."

As Christians we are scale-model ambassadors of a far greater reality. How? Paul provides the answer: "We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'"


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