"If you're tied to the railroad track and a train is coming, pray to God for the train to stop.
If you're not tied to the railroad track and a train is coming, don't pray to God, get up and move off the track."
Our lives often feel like a train thundering down the track, carrying a load of problems. Sometimes we can hear the whistle blowing far in the distance as it works up momentum, and we are able to move out of the way. Other times we are distracted and oblivious until we see the flashing lights, warning us of impending danger. And there are moments when no matter what we do, we're frozen in place; trapped on the tracks.
Often when I'm praying I wonder: "Am I really tied down or do I have the tools to help myself? Is this a train I can stop, or should I merely step aside and wait for it to pass? Do I truly need divine intervention, or should I be asking for strength and guidance instead?
I think we often hold our own answers. Though we need to go to God for help in our choices as we contemplate life along the tracks, our minds and hearts are gifts given for decision-making in hopes that we can maneuver with care and wisdom on our journey. It's easy to think God is responsible for everything and that we can idly stand by and expect Him to fix all that is wrong in our world. But this path is a partnership. We walk side by side, using the judgment given us to make the choices within our power, then leaving what we cannot change in His hands.
Any time we are on the tracks, we are not alone. Sometimes we need His help to free us from the perils thundering down upon us. But more often we need to draw from His presence, to follow what is already in our hearts and to walk beside Him, to safer ground.