In early May we went on a steam train from Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland to Mallaig on the West Coast, which is right at the end of the line. The train was called the ‘Jacobite’. Well named, as it was in this area at Glenfinnan, on the top end of Loch Shiel, that Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1745 raised his Standard and called the Scottish Clans to join him in his last but futile attempt to regain the British Monarchy for the Stuart Dynasty. There is a fitting monument to mark this, the start of the last rebellion on mainland Britain.
It is a beautiful area of Scotland, with amazing views of lochs and mountains, with a few snow capped peaks still to be seen here and there. Bluebells could be seen in abundance from the train, and sheep with their lambs in the fields at the lochs edges. The train passes over a spectacular viaduct on the approaches to Glenfinnan (see video below), from where you can look down to the ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ monument. Large groups of train and ‘Harry Potter’ enthusiasts climb the hill behind the viaduct to photograph the train as it crosses the viaduct.
The thought occurred to me when we reached Mallaig that it was not only the end of the line for our train journey, but also here in this area, it was the end of the line for the Stuart dynasty, and for the dream of a young prince who dreamt of power and glory. Just a few miles further west, we later visited another monument at the spot where this same prince was secretly taken on-board a French sailing vessel, to make his ignominious escape from those who were hunting him down.
Of course it’s true for most of us that sometimes in our life, our hopes and dreams come unexpectedly and quickly to a disappointing end. So if that’s currently true for you, and like our train you think you have come to ‘the end of the line’, remember that there is a God who loves and cares for YOU! This quote from Saul the Jesus sceptic, who became Paul the believer, says it all.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose ….. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, (Jesus) but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Trust in God, thank Jesus for dying for your sin and failure, and like Saul ask Him, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’
Here’s the video of the train journey!