Raoul’s Two Cents: March 25, 2022
There’s a Train Coming
WARNING: Spiritual stuff. Go to the jokes if this offends you.
It’s late Thursday night and I’m stuck staring at my monitor wondering what to share to my TGIF family. I originally planned to write about how well my mini-concert went last Sunday but I went to Facebook for the first time in years and I looked for photos of the event to share. And I couldn’t help but notice the old man wearing my clothes and playing my guitar. The stranger with the receding white hair was me.
I knew I was getting old but I didn’t think I was THAT old. I looked at pictures of friends and family and they all looked so much older. It’s true that most of us are transfixed on a picture of our 25 year-old self in our minds. Where did all the years of jumping tall buildings and running minute miles go? Are we living on borrowed time?
My college buddy, Bernie, and I grew up with folk rock, jazz singer, Kenny Rankin. We loved his voice and his guitar. We knew all his records but often we didn’t even try to understand what the lyrics meant. If I had known that Kenny was singing Christian music when I was yet an unbeliever, I would have tuned out. But as I’ve aged, I’ve learned to appreciate the hidden messages. One of Kenny’s Gospel songs is called “People Get Ready” and when I thought of getting old, this song played in my head. The lyrics are by the legendary Kurtis Mayfield.
PEOPLE GET READY
People get ready, there’s a train a-comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord
So, people get ready for the train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board ’em
There’s hope for all among those loved the most
There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just to save his own, believe me now
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there’s no hiding place against the kingdom’s throne
Kenny Rankin boarded his train in 2009. Bernie called me all the way from Virginia that day to tell me Kenny was no more. There would be no new records from him. It was a sad day. It was an ordinary sunny day but it was also a sad day. Or was it?
Kenny inspired a lot of musicians like Bernie and I. He never made it to number one but what he did, he did oh so well. The rest of us ordinary folk fall several notches lower than Kenny. And that’s okay. The wealth and the prestige that we collect in our life’s journey are just baggage that we will leave behind when we board our train. Like the song says: FAITH is the key to open the train doors. It isn’t about living long and achieving more. It’s who we trust and who will allow us to board the train.
But this is just me. TGIF people!
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
— 1 Thesolonians 4:13-14
Joke of the Week
Thanks to Peter Paul of S Pasadena, CA
Video of the week
FUNNY: Thanks to Peter Paul of South Pasadena. This flight attendant’s face says it all.
Thanks to Rodney of Manitoba, B.C.
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA
Thanks to Efren of Caloocan City, Philippines