By Coley Reese

A young man, who had worked for years on the railroad, wanted a job as a signalman. For his interview, he was told to meet the inspector at the signal box. The inspector asked him, “What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading toward each other on the same track?”

Coley Reese, his wife Anna, and son Parker
Clockwise from right: Coley Reese, his wife Anna, and his son, Parker. Photo courtesy Coley Reese.

The young man said, “That’s easy. I would switch the points for one of the trains.”

The inspector then asked, “What if the lever broke?”

The young man said, “Then I’d jump down out of the signal box, and I’d use the manual lever over there.”

Next, the inspector said, “What if the lever had been struck by lightning?”

The young man said, “Then I would run to the signal box and phone the next signal box to let them know what was happening.”

The inspector continued on, “What if the phone was busy?”

The young man said, “Well, in that case, I would rush down out of the signal box and use the public emergency phone at the crossing up there.”

Then, the inspector said, “What would you do if the public emergency phone had been vandalized?”

The young man said, “Oh, well, then I would run into town and get my uncle.”

That answer puzzled the inspector. So, he asked, “Why would you go get your uncle?”

The young man answered, “That’s simple. Because he’s never seen a train crash before.”

As 2019 quickly approaches, if we’re not careful, we can become like this young man trying all we can to stop a speeding train from crashing, just to arrive at the point of throwing our hands up and expecting the inevitable. Hope becomes distant, honesty seems far-fetched, and our future starts looking bleak.

We, as humans, have the habit of looking to our future through the filter of our past. It’s been said before, “Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Though there’s a lot of truth to that, I want to challenge us also to try looking at the success of our own homes as well as our community through the eyes of HOPE.

Hope has the tendency to see the best in the darkest of moments. 2018 might have been a year of loss, heartache, pain, brokenness, & let downs, but HOPE allows us to believe the unbelievable and gives us the strength to try again. When you look all around you, and everything in your community seems broken, it hurts.

This is your city, this is your community, these are your neighborhoods and your families. Macon needs now more than ever for people to rise up and see the best it has to offer. Macon needs its people to see the potential in our city. Success can only be birthed through those who choose to look at Macon through the HOPE of greatness, and not through the eyes of past failures.

This is OUR Macon. It’s our responsibility to thrust it into greatness!

The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things NOT YET SEEN.” It’s NOW faith, not later faith, that brings about the substance of a greater Macon than we’ve ever seen.

So now, here we are, and I think I hear that train arriving. Will we sit back and watch it crash, or will we do everything we can to see it pass by smoothly for the next generation to enjoy the ride?



Published by Guest Columnist

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