For a Ghanaian in London there are lots of things he’ll be impressed with and others he’ll be confused by. Yet there is a third category: that which is both impressive and confusing. I found that to be the big red circle with a blue line across – the Underground railway network!
This day was one of my early moments of navigating the Underground alone. Excited about the prospects of getting to my destination safely but nervous about missing my trains and not meeting my appointment time.
So here I was, finally having to use the underground after changing from the over ground train. I was able to follow the direction to where I needed to board a train travelling on the Northern Line. My sense of fulfilment and achievement began to ebb out when I realised there were two trains in that area going in opposite directions. It was not enough just to know I needed to travel on a Northern line, I had to know which direction I had to travel.
Noticing that both trains were about to leave, I became more nervous knowing that I was just about to miss my train. With the assistance of one worker, I hopped onto one of the trains which would take me to my destination – or so I thought!
‘The next station is Bank’ – it was announced on the train. To the mum with the child sitting opposite me, it meant she had to put her luggage together – it was time to alight. To the students sitting adjacent to me, it meant they could continue chatting and giggling – Bank was not their destination. But what did it mean to me?
‘The next station is Bank’. I was in the wrong train! And travelling in the opposite direction to my destination. The train I needed was a Northern Line, travelling south; but I was in a Northern Line travelling north.
How often have we quickly jumped onto the wrong ‘Trains’ in life? The destination was happiness, so we, following the lead of friends, hopped onto the ‘train’ of relationship only to find out that we were heading in the wrong direction. The ‘stops’ have been guilt, frustration, prayerlessness.
Perhaps, the destination was financial stability, so you got on the ‘work train’ in the bank, in the factory. Pause for a moment and review the direction this ‘train’ is taking you. Are you going in the right direction?
‘The next station is Bank’ meant I had to get off the train – I was going in the wrong direction. Will you get off your ‘train’? Will you heed the caution your ‘stops’ portend?