The Gift of Hobbies

Making Tracks


Recently, I was talking with a friend about a small dilemma I face when working on my hobbies. I make little inspirational videos and at present I’m also learning to compose music with the use of a keyboard controller and Apple’s LogicPro X software. I love both pursuits, and I told him that sometimes now I can’t decide what to work on first, and that when I feel this way  just move into the next room and work with my N-Scale electric train for awhile.

He responded with interesting insights about ‘trains’ as metaphors for life, for spirituality, for danger and opportunity, about necessity and enjoyment in the context of trains.

As I thought more about this, another of my hobbies came to mind. (Can you say ADHD?…) I also enjoy very much the pursuit of genealogy in which I have involved myself for nearly 40 hears. It dawned on me that the metaphor that perhaps best describes my present pursuits has more to do with something shared in at least four of my hobbies — and that is the idea of ‘tracks.’

I’m learning how to lay down various music tracks in LogicPro X, with different instruments and even vocals being brought together to form sounds - and music that brings pleasure at least to me. I have much more to learn in this area and there are some - amateurs and professionals, I know, who spend their lives in this wonderful and singular pursuit.

And then too, I am also trying to track down my ancestors - looking for their tracks and what I can find about each of them, both deeply and widely in this area as well, so that now my extensive and extended tree has nearly 22,000 different individuals, many of whom I feel I’m come to know, some quite well. I’ve discovered (and am constantly discovering) their the ‘tracks’ of their lives: about baptisms, marriages, residences, occupations, deaths and places of burial through the records now extensively available online for such pursuit.

And of course, working with model Railroads also involves the laying of tracks — ‘track-work' from the beginning and during the whole pursuit and development of the hobby. I’m still at the ‘laying tracks’ stage. I want to run trains and build diorama-like scenes in various places on my layout and there is much more to do in this, for me at least, interesting and involving — and fulfilling, hobby. I’ve started often and never gotten very far; so, there’s a kind of resolve and discipline I’m calling for, upon myself in these days.

Tracking and trekking out and about is key in photography as well. Easier in the warmer weather but still something calling for involvement in every season, of the year — and of life itself. And making videos and sharing movies and videos to tell a story and to inspire is something I love to do.

We leave tracks. People follow us. That is obvious if we are leaders, but all of us are influencing someone hourly, daily, through our lives. Perhaps we are influencing many, around us. People are following in our tracks, like or not. Our children will do what we model rather than much of what we try to teach them.

There’s a proverb: — 'The steps of a good person are ordered by the Lord and He delights in their way.”  It’s good to know that not only do others care to keep track of our lives (pace Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), but also there is One who create, loves and cares and - I think, delights in those creature-ly pursuits that delight not only ourselves but are also a boon and blessing to others.

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