In the days of wide open spaces and wilderness, traveling by rail could be a dangerous business. I’m not talking about danger brought about by humans, but by any number of animals that could just happen to be ambling across the tracks at the precise time that a locomotive was scheduled. Enter British engineer Charles Babbage who in 1838 invented what was known as the cow catcher. Wisegeek.com explains “A cow catcher is typically a shallow, V-shaped wedge, designed to deflect objects from the track at a fairly high speed without disrupting the smooth movement of the train. The shape serves to lift any object on the track and push it to the side, out of the way of the locomotive behind it.”
Did you catch that? “Without disrupting the smooth movement of the train”. Wow! That is some feat of engineering. It was designed “to lift any object on the track and push it to the side” without impeding the forward progress of the train? Fascinating…
Isn’t that what God does for us? We use the term vanguard…one who goes before us. In ancient armies the vanguard was the front line, the forward assault. Listen to what Moses spoke to all of Israel just before they crossed the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Makes me wonder…. How many times has God removed objects from my path that I haven’t even been aware of? He did it in such smooth fashion that my forward progress was not impeded and the forward motion of my life was not disrupted.
Whatever you are facing, Jehovah goes before you. The Lord of Hosts, the Captain of the Army, is with you. He will not fail you. He will clear the way before you so that you may continue on your journey.
The modern term for a cow catcher is “pilot”. I suppose it is more elegant. You choose. Vanguard. Pilot. Cow Catcher. Any way you look at it, you have got the Lord your God going before you in whatever you do.
Now that’s good news.