inexpressible and filled with glory


As the World Rushes By

On the train

When I was studying at university, I caught the train from the Mountains to they city at least four days a week. Katherine, who is still studying, is currently on the train five days a week. I used to love this big journey into Sydney, and there were always friends to sit with on both the east- and west-bound journey. For me, it was a chance to do most of my uni work. I would do most of my prep for class and most of my reading for assessments on the one-and-a-half hour journey each way from the city.

This is one thing that I miss about my university years – commuting from the Mountains and watching the world rush by the window.

This long journey is not unique to me. Many people commute from the Mountains to work, school or study in the Penrith, Parramatta and City areas. I do not have a statistic about the percentage of the population who train it eastbound every day, but one must only catch a train in peak hour to see that every eight-carriage Mountains train is packed to capacity. I wonder what challenges and opportunities this provides for the gospel in the Mountains.

Related to my post from yesterday, the large commuter population ensures that many people will not be home in the afternoon. This means that my efforts at being out in the community by walking Bella become redundant in attempting to connect with commuters. On this note, perhaps the best time to be out and about in the community is on the weekend.

One opportunity is the commuter experience itself. Commuters spend a significant proportion of each day on the train. This presents many opportunities for Christian commuters to impact Mountains commuters with the gospel. I know, just from my own experience, that God brought me so many opportunities to share my faith with randoms on the train in my university years. If we developed an intentionality about commuting and really asked the Lord to provide opportunities for the gospel on the train then perhaps this would be an effective way of impacting the Mountains with the gospel of Jesus.

Apart from this, I wonder if we could capitalise on the commuter experience in some way. I’m thinking a Christian tract version of MX that could be handed out at Central station for commuters on their way home. Many churches have attempted to give out tracts or Bibles at Springwood station in the mornings, but from my own observations I think that it would be more effective to do it for the return journey from the city. A huge proportion of commuters pick up their MX and flick through it on the train – imagine if we could give them something that presents Christ instead!

There are many other opportunities and challenges that commuting presents us as we pray to the Lord to save the lost in the Mountains, I have just presented a few for brevity’s sake. Can you think of any?

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