London is mourning its worst train accident in a decade. They are still
pulling charred and mangled bodies from the fiery wreck that occurred last
Tuesday during morning rush hour in west London. It is feared that upwards of
70 people died.
A preliminary report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says: The
immediate cause of the accident appears to be that the Thames Train passed a
red signal some 700 meters before the collision point. The same report adds
that track controllers realized the outbound Thames Train had passed Signal
109 but were not able to stop the inbound First Great Western train before it
struck the local commuter.
Officials have known for a long time that Signal 109 was one of the most
dangerous on the British rail lines. Poor visibility at the site has caused
drivers to miss the warning light at least eight times in the past four
years. This time the result was disastrous. An automatic train protection
device that stops trains passing red signals was scheduled to be installed at
the site by 2003.
The HSE has now prohibited operation of Signal 109 and rerouted all trains
from that track until the visibility problems are corrected. It has also
ordered as many as twenty-two new controls at other signal points with high
Reading the news reports of this terrible train wreck made me think of the
train wrecks Ive witnessed in human lives when people chose to run through
certain red lights God put in their way. Recently it was a man who had closed
his eyes to all the danger signals in an office relationship that had been
getting out of control. Now it is a full-blown affair. Now it appears that he
will lose his wife and two small children.
I saw it coming! he told me through tears. I thought I could keep it from
doing any harm. I guess it just felt good to have my ego stroked by somebody
who was pretty and young and thought I was such a great guy. Unfortunately,
I had heard his story dozens of times before. How could I have been such a
fool? he sobbed.
Your conscience is a God-given internal monitor for behavior. Negatively, it
flashes red lights to remind you to correct something before serious harm is
done. Positively, it is a spiritual compass assuring you that your are
navigating within the boundaries God has set for right and wrong.
As you start this week, resolve to honor your conscience. You dont want to
be one of those smoldering wrecks that makes the news, do you?
From Rubel Shelly's "FAX of Life" printed each Tuesday. See http://www.faithmatters.com for previous issues of the "FAX of Life."