Traveling on the MTA

This morning there was an injury at 90th Street.

But we, rushing into the Main Street station, could care less – except that the injury delayed our train for nearly half an hour. The voices on the loudspeakers repeatedly informed us about the cause of the delay, and added that only local service would be offered. Some people were clearly annoyed. Others just sat and waited. I went with Pippin and Merry to Middle-Earth.

“There’s the Long Island Railroad one block from here. Or you can take the Q17 to Jamaica and take the F train,” someone said over the loudspeakers. Like seasoned New Yorkers we did not make much of a fuss. Most of us did not dash up the stairs to catch the next bus or LIRR train. We trusted the MTA to get us going soon. Besides, why spend two dollars and twenty-five cents just to sit in a parked subway car? We waited patiently.

That is, until they announced that the train on Track 1 (or was it 2?) would be leaving the station first. Then some people started moving, dashing up the stairs and down again to reach the other platform.

“There’s no need [to do that],” blared the loudspeakers. “All the trains will be leaving the station shortly.”

And eventually our train did leave the station, about twenty minutes after I had entered the subway car. Usually, by this time I would be at Grand Central, but today I was only at Junction Boulevard. Local service of course slowed us down, as well as the masses trying to enter and exit the train. By the time I reached Times Square it was 10:20, not bad considering all that had happened.

It’s odd how little events like this tie us together with the rest of humanity. For a few minutes of our day we are joined with thirty others in a subway car or a bus. In that short time we learn their many idiosyncracies: whether they like to sit or stand, whether or not they will give up their seats to someone else, what type of phones they have, what their native languages are, whether or not they are students, and where they live or have business. I see some who are happy, and some who don’t care much about anything, but most people are tired, sad, and beset with problems. We are all sinners in need of the salvation of Jesus Christ. In some ways He’s like the bus driver who brings us safely through the traffic to our destination.

Note: This was written yesterday.

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