2-2-2020 Unaware


February 2, 2020

I’ve mentioned that I grew up just outside of Rives Junction in northern Jackson County, Michigan. Rives (as the locals always referred to it) was a rail town. In fact, it was on the main route between Jackson and Lansing and multiple freight trains passed through it daily. We were constantly aware of their presence but like so many things in life the town barely noticed when one would whistle its way through.

In 1960 a northbound freight train derailed, and a quiet town became the center piece of news for many days. I remember as an 11-year-old boy the activity as if it happened yesterday. This is how the news story read…

“Early one morning before daylight in 1960, a northbound freight train skipped of the rail. The brake on car 13 is believed to have caused the accident. Twenty-four cars in an 86-car freight train derailed. Boxcars and tank cars piled up across the Wood Road, the main crossing in Rives and they ran down beside the tracks as far as in front of the old Hotel Lee. Train cars ran through the railroad station, smashing it and some of the small equipment buildings beside it. Telephone service to 32 homes became disconnected when one of the railway train cars cut off a phone pole. No one was hurt.”

Here though is the part of the story that caught my attention as I reread the story a few days ago…

“The Hostlers had lived in the old hotel on Railroad St for nine years when the derailment happened. They were accustomed to trains, their whistles and their traveling through Rives in the night. The night of the derailment when the train cars piled up in front of their home – no one sleeping at hone heard a thing. Everyone was quite surprised when they looked out the front window the morning of the wreck to see twisted train cars.”

As I read that article again as a 70-year-old Pastor it quickly reminded me how conditioned we become to our surroundings. In doing so, we fail to recognize how easy it is to become so conditioned to the “ungodly stuff” in our lives we barely notice when they occur. They may not even wake us up out of our spiritual slumber. Which is exactly what our adversary desires.

That is exactly why God repeatedly implores us to be aware.


Hebrews 6:11-12 (NASB)
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry