I’ve always enjoyed the SEPTA trolleys, and find excuses to take them. But this particular clear summer day, I was traveling by car, headed west down State Street in Media, PA. I was early for my appointment, and in no hurry, so it was easy to trail the trolley as it marked the stops and folks stepped off or boarded.

The Media/Upper Darby Line, Route 101 as it’s called, first began to carry passengers in 1913, so it’s been doing it’s job for 107 years. Maybe that’s why the bell and the gentle rumble of the rails bring a little nostalgia to an all-too-frantic world. It reminds us of a quieter time, and perhaps more innocent, too.

I’m sure I was lost in some such reverie as I finally pulled up behind the car itself, and waited for the bell to ring and the car to rumble on. As I waited, I noticed that no one got on at the stop, and wondered why it didn’t move.

After what must have seemed a long time to any onlookers, I realized that the trolley was not moving because it had run out of track. I hadn’t noticed that the car had reached its last stop at Orange Street, where it pauses for a few minutes before heading back towards 69th Street Station.

Fortunately I had left enough room to pass the car without backing up, so I eased by the silent trolley and glided into a parking space down the block. I was laughing so hard at myself that I had tears in my eyes. I do that a lot, and usually have a few opportunities weekly.

It was a great reminder that God equipped us for laughter, and sometimes the best jokes are on ourselves. When we realize that, it’s somehow easier to keep life real and not take ourselves too seriously. There’s plenty to be serious about already, without adding foolish pride, don’t you think?

“All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”
Proverbs 15:15

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