The Commuter's Mind

Part of the joy of commuting is being awestruck by the wonder of ordinary sights and sounds you encounter along the way.

On those days that I go into the office, I usually walk from Union Station to the Merchandise Mart, where I will catch the Brown Line train to Kimball. It's not that long of a walk, plus, I like walking along the Chicago River on Wacker Drive.

The other day, I was overwhelmed by the sight of the construction equipment sitting on the frozen river: on one barge was a large crane; two other barges were moored alongside it. The barges sat motionless in the river, and the crane turned slowly from one side to another, as if it was the neck of some prehistoric leviathan searching for something. The workers scurried around, as if hiding from it.

I assumed they were continuing work on the Chicago Riverwalk. They have been working on that project for months, and I walk by this construction site every day I am in the city. But for some reason, on this day, on this morning, I thought it was really cool. I felt like a kid again. Standing above them, I felt like a giant playing with great big toys. With equipment like that, there was no limit to what my imagination could construct. In my childlike mind, I started building great palaces or space stations deep in space. I started building great ports for grand vessels that carried magnificent treasures. I paused for a moment to let my imagination play; it was play that brought great joy to my soul.

In that moment, as I watched the workers and the crane on the barges in the frozen river, I tasted heaven--a moment of pure, childlike joy, a joy that inspired my imagination to take to the heavens.

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’
— Matthew 9:14

As you commute to and from work, the store, from one obligation to another, always remember to keep a childlike mind--that is, keep a mind that is open to being awestruck by the wonder and magnificence of ordinary things.

Those are the minds that can imagine heaven.