August 1st, 2013
Creative Commons | by Peterfitzgerald

One Monday night I drove to Siete Ranch to feed the cows. As I turned onto FM 902 to cross the railroad tracks, I noticed that the flashing barriers were down because of an oncoming train. I put my truck in park and turned off the engine to wait it out. It was then that I noticed what was happening.

A little red car that had been coming from the other direction was stuck on the railroad track, caught between the flashing barriers. I don’t know how it happened, but it could not move because it was blocked not only by the barriers, but also by cars both behind and in front of the barriers. The approaching train was still far down the track, but its arrival was inevitable.

As I sat there and watched this predicament, it occurred to me that this is how some people surely feel about life. There are those who feel like they are stuck in life, and all they can see is the inevitable marching of time, grim mortality rushing toward them. I confess there are moments when I feel that way myself. As we all know, life speeds up as one ages, and sometimes the end appears to be approaching faster than is comfortable.

I couldn’t help but think about Easter. At its most basic, Easter is the proclamation of the Church that there is more than meets the eye: more than mere existence, more than waiting for mortality to catch up with us, more than a timeline of opportunity punctuated by meaningless death. The Easter message is what keeps us from getting stuck between the surprising joy of birth and the inevitability of death.

What happened to the little red car? The cars in front managed to move forward enough to allow the little red one to maneuver between and out of the barriers. Disaster averted.

Ironically, the story of the Resurrection is not as unambiguous. It is a story still shrouded in mystery, the Gospel writers offering various accounts of the post-Resurrection appearances and the responses to them. We are left somewhat in suspense, the story not yet fully finished. But this much we do know: Hope defeated Despair; Life defeated Death; Love defeated Hate. On the other side of the Cross the disciples became passionate witnesses to the love of Christ, and they changed the course of history.

excerpt from: The Long View: Reflections on Life, God, and Nature by Donald W. Underwood. Copyright©2013 by Abingdon Press. Used with Permission. This book publishes in September.

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