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SLEEPING SIGNAL MAN
There was danger ahead! The midnight express was approaching, and the engineer didn't know that the track had been washed out as a result of a flash flood in a mountain pass. The train rushed by the place where the signal man stood and plunged headlong into an abyss. Its derailing caused the death of many of the passengers as well as that of the engineer.
Did the signal man fall asleep? The signal man was questioned: "Did you hear the approaching train?" he was asked. "What did you do as it came closer to your position?" "I waved my lantern back and forth as I stood on the track in front of the train."
The judge came to the conclusion that if the engineer had missed such a clear warning signal, he must have been asleep at the controls of his locomotive. On the way from the courtroom, the signal man was heard to say to one of his friends, "I'm so glad that he didn't ask me one more question. He didn't ask if the lantern was lighted. I had fallen asleep and was startled by the approaching train. Yes, I waved the lantern, but I didn't have time to light it first."
SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON
The most important part of this message is the need for every Christian to be ready for His soon coming.
In 1914 an expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton set out from England to cross the continent of Antarctica in the ship, Endurance. Pack ice closed around the ship and split it in two. For five months the members of the expedition drifted around on large ice floes. Then, with the help of small boats they had salvaged from the Endurance, they made their way to Elephant Island. The nearest human habitation was 800 miles away on the island of South Georgia.
Shackleton, with five of his men, faced the mountainous waves in his little whale boat and managed to reach South Georgia. Soon a rescue attempt was organized. The first attempt failed. The pack ice closed in and the rescue ship had to turn back. A second attempt was organized and failed. A third attempt was made, and once again the ice was the victor.
Only after four rescue attempts could Shackleton find a way through to Elephant Island. As he approached that wilderness of snow and ice, he wondered what he would find. Would anyone still be alive after those months of waiting? Would there be, perhaps, a few survivors gone mad with the silence and the waiting?
Shackleton found every man alive, in good condition, and in good spirits. How had they survived? The secret lay in the leadership of the man he had left in charge. Every day he would say to his men, "Get ready, boys, the boss may come back today."
And every day they got ready. Every day they prepared themselves. Every day they watched. Every day they waited. And despite the long silence, despite the great odds, one day Shackleton did come back. We need to watch and pray every day. And one day soon, Jesus will come back to rescue us. His admonition to us is: Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matt. 24:44)
THE KING IS COMING!
Come with me down memory lane! ! grew up in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. We lived in a small town and didn't get to the city very often. This was a very special day. Our whole family was going to the city of Saskatoon to participate in a singular event. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth would be visiting our city. We arrived early. Preparations for this royal visit were evident everywhere we looked. Buildings were wearing new coats of paint, lawns were freshly mowed, flowers were blooming, flags were flying, banners welcomed the coming King and Queen.
Along the crowded street, we managed to find a place to wait for the coming parade. Time seemed to hang in space as we waited. There was so much for a little boy to see. All eyes were watching as a band came marching down the street. I had never seen a live band. I was filled with wonder. I especially remember the big trombones. Then came the motorcade. Shiny black convertibles, city officials, members of the provincial government, the Prime Minister of Canada, all of them looking dignified and official. Then, there they were! Slowly they moved past us, the King and Queen of the British Empire. Just as they passed, the King looked at me and smiled. There was so much for a little boy to see, but only one thing seemed important now. Everyone was looking at the King.
I believe with all my heart that the King is coming, and that He is coming very soon!