In May 2015, six people died as the result of a passenger train derailment. The modern Amtrak train was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members when it left the track in Philadelphia. At least 140 of those riders were hospitalized. Federal investigators and Amtrak officials concluded the train was simply going too fast around a curve, causing the locomotive to get off the right track.
How many times do we get "off track" by getting in too big of a hurry? We rush to judgment, we jump to conclusions, and we are quick to make a verdict without getting all the facts.
-Job's friends got off track when they jumped to the wrong conclusion and caused Job to ask, "How long will you torment me and crush me with words. These ten times you have insulted me; You are not ashamed to wrong me" (Job 19:1-3).
-The Israelites got off track. They almost caused a civil war because of making the wrong assumption, falsely thinking an altar built was out of rebellion against God (Joshua 22:9-34).
-Samuel got off track and tried to anoint all of Jesse's sons except the right one. He based his judgment, rashly, on the wrong facts (1 Samuel 16:7).
-The Ammonites got off track when they thought David was sending someone to spy and conquer when in truth, he wanted to show kindness (1 Chronicles 19:2-3).
We must not get in such a big hurry that we get off track. "Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools" (Ecclesiastes 7:9). That is why we are not to "go out hastily to argue your case," the wise man says. Instead, God tells us to "Argue your case with your neighbor, and do not reveal the secret of another" (Proverbs 25:8-10). We must not judge by appearance. We must not decide based on hearsay (Isaiah 11:3). If we would follow the "Golden Rule" and treat others the same way we want them to treat us (Luke 6:31), how likely would we be to get off track? If we remembered "the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Galatians 5:14), how likely would we be to stay on the right track?
A train that goes too fast will wind up only causing destruction and grief. The same is true when we get in too big of a hurry to point the finger, cast the accusation, and play judge and jury. More times than not, we will get off track - and death and destruction will be the only outcome