The Little Engine That Could

untitledI remember when I was a little girl one of my most favorite books was “The Little Engine that Could”.  Now for all of you X, Y, Z and subsequent generationers (…is that even a word?), you may never even have heard about this book!  Basically I believe that every Disney, Pixar, Family Channel movie etc. is founded on the same basic principle and message of this classic children’s book.  “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” the Little Engine repeats over and over and over.  It is the story of the littlest choo choo train accomplishing a task that other more powerful locomotives refused to try.  It is the consumate underdog story of someone (or in this case something) who can accomplish BIG things if he will only believe in himself.

“A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill “I can’t; that is too much a pull for me,” said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. “I think I can,” puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, “I–think–I–can, I–think–I–can.” It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

Now I’m a big fan of “underdogs”.  I love stories where the least likely of all the characters becomes the greatest of heroes.  There is something so satisfying to have the “little guy” win against all odds even when pitted against the most powerful opponent.

Sometimes I think in the book publishing world, I’m this “teeny tiny little fish” swimming in the current with all these huge blockbuster “big fish” and every once in a while it is so satisfying to swim past them, even if it’s just for a few hours.  For a couple of days last week, Shoot the Wounded was actually on two best selling lists on Amazon.ca  I felt sort of  like the movie character “Jack” on the Titanic being “the king of the world”…well,.. for a few hours at least…then the boat sank…

Good thing I know how to swim!

My “Wounded Trilogy” has received praise from around the world and just recently the third book, “Love the Wounded” won not only the prestigious “Seal of Approval” but also the Silver Medal for Faith-based fiction from Literary Classics for excellence in children’s and young adult literature.  Although the accolades are wonderful the most heart-warming for me are the comments from my readers and most recently an excited call from a dear friend in Edmonton who said she “couldn’t put the books down” and now she wants to give a copy to each member of her youth group.  Wow!

I remember when I wrote “Shoot the Wounded” that I would be thankful if one person read it and I would praise God for that.  Well, He has gone far and above what I could ever have hoped for; taking my little stories to heights I could never ever imagined.  You could say that He pushed that little engine up the hill and I’m just hanging on enjoying the ride!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

 

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