Every night, I read a little devotional before bed. Several weeks ago, one of the lines in the scripture selection kinda resonated with me. I wanted to write something since I read it, but I still can’t get everything to gel in my head. Still, this is one of those thoughts that haven’t left, so I’m going to consider this a starting draft.
Here is the scripture:
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
The phrase that struck me probably won’t make sense to some of you – especially if you don’t have young kids who are currently or have been obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. I have two kids that have been nuts for Thomas. This past summer we went on a ride in Bryson City, NC, on Thomas. The picture is from our visit. After this event, we literally played Thomas and Friends every day for 6 weeks – either cartoons, video games, or building elaborate tracks for the toy trains.
If you can’t sing the Thomas theme song or name his friends and engine numbers, allow me to explain. Thomas is a train that is from the Island of Sodor. He and his friends perform various tasks and such – delivering the mail, transporting tourists around the Island, delivering supplies, etc. They all work for Sir Topham Hatt, a portly little man who is head of the railway on Sodor. It is very important to all the Engines, but especially Thomas, that they be “really useful engines.” However, in their daily work and subsequent adventures, many of the Engines prove to be less than useful, despite their best intentions. They let jealousies, competitions, rivalries, absent mindedness, etc. interfere with their best efforts. The stories are structured, however, that a lesson is learned by the end and the problems are solved.
As I’ve watched the shows with my children, the phrase “really useful engine” has always struck me as interesting. So, one night, when I’m reading my devotional, the verses from 2 Timothy really struck me – we are to be useful to our Heavenly Father. We often talk about serving the Lord, but how often do we think about being a “really useful” Christian and what it means?
Thomas the Train has his greatest desire to be “really useful.” He strives constantly to be “really useful.” You could take that scripture passage above and apply it to the railway on Sodor. Each train – some diesels, some steam engines – are different. However, they all work for their Master, ready to be useful and prepared to do great works. They have their issues, yes, and work through them, but their desire to be “really useful” remains.
I want to be a “really useful” Christian. Prepared to do any good work… And as my kids watch Thomas, I think it’s really cool that I can take such a simple concept as Thomas & Friends and introduce a Biblical principle as well.
So, how about you? Do you want to be a Thomas the Tank Engine Christian, too?