Friday, September 11, 2020

The Mumbles Railway

Do you remember the Mumbles Railway?

Anyone who lived in Swansea in the 1950s can hardly forget the ‘Bump, Rattle and Roll’ of the double decker tram as it lurched its way along Swansea Bay. For those of you who, perhaps, were not around in the 50s, the Mumbles Railway was a two decker tram that ran along the edge of Swansea Bay from the town centre to the lighthouse on Mumbles Head -  a distance of just under 6 miles.

For me the railway was iconic for it represented a young boy’s ‘day out’ to Mumbles.  As I sat in the front seat on the upper deck (it had to be the upper deck every time) I watched captivated as the pier, the lighthouse and the lifeboat station gradually grew nearer, and with them, the promise of chips and ice cream.  Sadly, the day was over all too quickly and we would get back on the red carriage for the journey home.

But there was always the next time.

Then, one day, there wasn’t a next time as the news came through that the railway was to close. As a nine year old boy, I felt as if something permanent had gone from my life.  The trips to Mumbles continued - there was still the lighthouse, the pier, and the lifeboat station, but it wasn’t the same by bus!

We all know that change is an integral part of our lives, but it is not unusual to longingly think of the past and wish that we could once again have the old values.  But nothing remains the same.

Or does it?

Some years later I made the amazing discovery that in the middle of a changing world there was one who does not change and, more importantly, there was one who was relevant to me.

To cut a long story short, I found that Jesus Christ was real.

How would I describe the experience?  Well, there were no angelic choirs or flashing lights, but the experience was real.  By simple faith I received the gift of God - eternal life - through Jesus Christ.  Believing that He died for me to forgive me, I received Him into my life.

Now, over fifty years down the road from that day, I can tell you that He is unchanging, He is totally trustworthy and brings a completely new peace and joy to life.  

Today, often as I drive along the bay, my mind goes back to the days of the Mumbles Railway.  So much has changed, but I am thankful that I have learned that Jesus Christ is the same, Yesterday, today and forever.

Adapted by permission. Originally published ‘Messages with Meaning’

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