My friend and co-worker Mike had never heard of putting pennies on a railroad track before.
When I was a kid, my Dad told me of an old friend who worked at a railroad yard, and how he sometimes placed a penny on the track as a train pulled out, just to see it get flattened.
I was intrigued, but lived in the city. There were no train tracks nearby, no ready means for a young lad to boldly squish some copper.
So my dream lay dormant…for a while.
Some years later, but still a youngster, we visited family friends at a farm house with a railroad track intersecting the long dirt driveway.
I don’t think it took much convincing for my Dad to drop a few pennies on the track with me and wait for a train to rumble past.
Mind you, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It was past dusk, and we were nowhere near a station. It was a long time before a train came along.
The passenger train whistled by at over 60 miles per hour, scattering the pennies through the dark across an endless trail of wood, steel and gravel.
With a flashlight and some dogged determination, we managed to salvage three former one cent pieces, now oblong, roughly half as thick and with twice the surface area.
I held on to those pennies for years.
Today, an old set of railroad tracks runs through my company’s yard. Once every few weeks, an engine drops a couple of cars at a business up the street. A nice, slow-moving train on a track that is just steps from my office…
Who could resist?
Mike and I pooled resources. Today we have eight pennies resting on the track. Four on the left side, four on the right. They’ve been there for a week now.
We check them every day in anticipation that today might be the day that the train comes by. Brushing off the dirt so we get a good clean “squish”. Replacing them when the wind and rain wash them off the track. Listening for that unmistakable long, low rumble…
There’s nothing we can do to bring that train past here any sooner than scheduled, but we can make sure that we’re ready for whenever it may appear.
‘Cause if we waited until we heard the train to drop the pennies, we wouldn’t get there in time.
Some things are worth working, watching, and waiting for.
Like a penny on a railroad track.
What are you working, watching and waiting for?
May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.- 2 Thessalonians 3:5