In an earlier era, when a steam-train reached its destination, the engine has to be turned and faced in the opposite direction for the new journey to begin.
The driver, with meticulous precision, must drive
the engine on to a turntable and place it so that it is centred and perfectly balanced. He leaves nothing to chance, it must be painstakingly placed. Then, if it is small depot, the crew will turn the turntable slowly by hand until the engine faces the opposite direction.
Engine on turntable
It is then ready to go out on the opposite track in an opposite direction to an opposite location. It has been completely turned around.
Now, a completely useless engine is one that believes it can travel to two different locations at the same time. It stops and starts and argues with itself and with all the signalmen, and whenever it goes one way it goes into deep depression because it is not going the other way.
James put it this way; he said ‘the one with two minds is always in two minds and unstable in all he does,’ (James 1:8 REB) and of course, like an unstable man, an unstable engine derails every other engine it meets.
Then, when it gets to the end of the line, it is so destabilised it has to be renewed and reactivated.
I think Paul knew a thing or two about turntables because he had been on one colossal turntable on the road to Damascus. No human hands could turn it, only the Creator of the universe could turn Paul’s turntable to stabilise him, to give him a change of mind, and to send him in a completely opposite direction.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians long afterwards he reminded them, ‘you must be renewed in mind and spirit’ (James 4:3 REB.)
The turntable Paul pointed them to is the only turntable that can give the guarantee of a new mind, a new spirit and a new direction. But you have to stand on it to know what a difference it makes.
Being turned around on the Lord’s turntable is an unforgettable experience. Have you been there?