My guess is that most of you remember the story of the Little Engine That Could. In case you do not, or just need to have one of those inner 5-year-old moments, it goes like this. Chug, Chug, Chug, Puff, Puff, Puff, Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks. She was a happy little train, for she had a jolly load to carry. Her cars were filled full of good things for boys and girls. The little train was carrying all these wonderful things to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain. She puffed along merrily. Then all of a sudden, she stopped with a jerk. She simply could not go another inch. She tried and she tried, but her wheels would not turn.
What were all those good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain going to do? "Here comes a shiny new engine,” said the funny little clown, "Let's ask him to help us. Please shiny new engine, won't you please pull our train over the mountain?” But the shiny new engine snorted, "I pull you? I am a passenger train. I have just carried a fine big train over the mountain with more cars then you ever dreamed of. I, pull you? Indeed not!” And off he steamed. How sad the little train and all the dolls and toys felt. Then the clown called out, "The passenger train is not the only train in the world. Here comes another big strong one, let's ask him to help us. Please big engine, won't you help us?” But the big strong engine bellowed, "I'm a freight engine. I am a very important engine. I won't pull the likes of you.” And the freight engine puffed off.
"Cheer up;” cried the toy clown, "Here comes another. He looks very old and tired, but our train is so little, perhaps he can help us.” But the Rusty Old Engine sighed, "I am so tired. I must rest my weary wheels. I cannot pull even so little a train as yours over the mountain. I cannot! I cannot! I can not!"
Then indeed the little train was very, very sad, and the dolls and toys were ready to cry. But the clown called out, "Here is another engine, a blue one, a very little one, but maybe she will help us.” The very little blue engine came chug, chugging merrily along. "Oh little blue engine, will you pull us over the mountain? Please, please help us.” “ I'm not very big," said the little blue engine, "they use me only for switching trains in the yard. I have never been over the mountain.” But the little blue engine looked up, saw the tears in the doll’s eyes, thought of the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain, and then said, "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” And she hitched herself to the little train and tugged and pulled and pulled and tugged. Puff, Puff, Chug, Chug, went the little blue engine. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Up, up, up, faster and faster and faster the little engine climbed, until at last they reached the top of the mountain.
"Hurray, hurray", cried the clown and all the toys, "hurray, hurray. The good little boys and girls will be so happy.” And the little blue engine smiled and seemed to say as she puffed steadily down the mountain, "I thought I could, I thought I could, I though I could."
How many of us have had a little engine moment in our lives; a moment when we were called to move over a mountain, but were not sure we had what it took.
Maybe you have had a Dorothy moment in the Wizard of Oz where you feel powerless and don’t know how you are going to get to where you want to go. You may have found yourself looking to everyone else to help you find your way out of Oz. As you may recall, at the end of the movie Dorothy learns that like the little engine, she had the power with her all the time. All she had to do was tap her ruby slippers and say I want to go home three times.
In our lives, we each face moments in our lives when we want to take our lives in a new direction, when we need to leave our comfort zones, and push ourselves over mountains of fear, doubt, lack, and worry. In those moments, we may doubt that we have what it takes to move through those feelings, over those mountains and find our way to the other side. The reality is that each of us has our own pair of ruby slippers. We each have the qualities we need to draw on buried within in like treasures that have been waiting to be unearthed and used. We each have the strength to lay down our chains of fear of what might happen and tap our ruby red slippers of courage and compassion together. The treasures we need to take us to that next level in our journey have been within us just waiting for us to be ready to use and appreciate them. Now is the time for you to be like the little engine and tell yourself “I know I can” or to be like Dorothy and tap your slippers of confidence and courage together. Now is the time for us to dig up the treasures the Infinite has buried within us and use them to propel us forward in our journey.