The U.S. standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.
Why was that gauge used?
Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the U.S. railroads.
Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
Why did they use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
OK! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads?
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.
And the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.
The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a spec and told we have always done it that way and wonder what horse's behind camp up with that, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.
Now the twist to the story...
When you saw a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there were two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These were solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs were made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as the width of a horse's behind.
Vision. Do you have a Vision? Can you see beyond the simple and sometimes challenging circumstances and why you are doing what you are doing?
SEEING GOD'S 'BIG PICTURE'!
Isn't it funny how some things seems so strange how they 'come about' and yet God has a perfect plan all along, even hundreds of years before? We seem to forget the bigger picture when we are in the parental war trenches and all we can focus on is getting through our child's next challenge.
God's Vision for your future, and the future of your children is amazing. Though struggles mount and we are bombarded by the evils of this world we have a Big God with a Big Plan, Jesus. 'It is done'. 2000 years ago, God finished it, and redeemed us all. God created us for this perfect time in history. Everything we do, say, and think today impacts our tomorrow. What we teach our children impacts their tomorrows.
Are we enabling their sin because we are afraid of 'the battle" or are we standing with them in the trenches to teach them how to govern their selfish desiresand LIVE for the One and Only?
Are we standing with them as they learn to become the godly men and women they are destined to become or are we throwing them to the wolves and saying "it's time for you to figure it out"?
Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. ~Matthew 7:13-14
What seed of vision have you planted in your children today?
And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision,
and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it. ~Habakkuk 2:2
"See the Big Picture. Nothing is ever as it first appears. Pain passes. Adversity passes. Look beyond your current hardships. Something incredible is being produced. The resurrection followed the crucifixion. Promotion follows adversity. So, get your eyes on the bigger picture." ~Mike Murdock