We had a long, hard week with problems and difficulties that took time to solve, if they even were solved. It is quite interesting to me that when I solve one problem, two other problems appear. I think they’re all waiting in line.
That evening the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I sat down after supper to watch a little TV news and drink our evening coffee. We like to get caught up on the news of the day so we know what's happening.
As we were watching the news, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage sighed very deeply and said, “Why does the news always have to be negative?”
I looked over at my wife, smiled one of my gregarious smiles, and said, “I’m going to be riding the hallelujah train to the end. You want to join me?”
Looking at me quizzically, she said, “What in the world does that mean?”
I chuckled, and when I got control of my chuckling, “Do you remember good old uncle Ned?”
I told her the good old uncle Ned story. He was the kind of guy that if you could discourage him, you were the only person that could do that.
He always had such a happy demeanor that when you were depressed, you just wanted to get around him to give you a little bit of cheer along with one of his nonsensical stories.
When everything was going against him, and it didn't look like there was any solution to the problem, uncle Ned would say, "I'm just gonna ride the hallelujah train to the end." Then he would break into one of his infamous hallelujah dances.
It took me a long time to understand what he meant by that. It wasn’t until after he had passed that I begin to understand what he was talking about.
The “hallelujah train” that he talked about was simply him taking control of his attitude at the time. He never allowed an incident, person or even family member to take away his happiness.
I begin to understand that he deliberately chose to ride the "hallelujah train," which made him in charge of his life.
As I told my wife the story, she leaned back and smiled one of her gracious smiles. Then she said, "I think I understand what he meant by that hallelujah train."
I can't remember anything that uncle Ned really did or accomplished in life. I'm sure there were things, but nothing came to my attention as I thought of him. The only thing was his attitude of happiness that nothing or no one could take away for him.
Walking into the house the next day, my wife looked at me and said, "Well, I'm riding the hallelujah train today."
I didn't have to ask her to explain, I knew exactly where she was going with this.
Troubles come and go, but if I allow them to control me in any regard, I am the loser. Therefore, each day I'm going to ride the hallelujah train to the end.
That evening I thought of one of the wise sayings of King Solomon. “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).
The door into the hallelujah train is simply trusting in the Lord.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]