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Square Stage

A Lesson from a Track-Cleaning Locomotive

~By Sharon Czerwien

For several years, my son (and husband) have been fans of YouTuber, Jim Zimmerlin. To fans, he's better known as Jim Zim! Mr. Zim is a popular train enthusiast who showcases fun videos of his numerous model trains.

One evening close to Christmas, my son easily talked us into watching a few of Mr. Zim’s videos. One video was entitled: “The Great Model Train Race With 19 Trains.” You can view it here.

This video was entertaining to watch, and Mr. Zim’s commentary was a fun addition. Long story short, I was especially interested in one part about a “track cleaning locomotive.” This part in the YouTube video starts around minute 24:25.

Mr. Zim mentions, “I am fairly sure that our next locomotive is going to be one of the slowest.” He then introduced the Piko Clean Machine battery-operated and track-cleaning locomotive. He goes on to mention that if a track-cleaning locomotive is doing its job, it will be slow.“ To do a good job of cleaning off the oxidation on top of the rails, it can’t be zooming along. It has to go slowly,” says Mr. Zim.

All that to say, there is no way that a Piko Clean Machine will ever be remotely successful in any race or competition. Yet, this locomotive is very important—even if it will never be the best, most popular, or most-used at anything. If it were not for Jim Zim, I would have never heard of this machine!

I don’t know about you, but I have a new appreciation for this type of machine. Though not well-known or popular, the machine is still greatly useful and important!

A Quick Biblical Application

I want to share my appreciation for those who serve God in any capacity. Some of you have leadership roles, and YOU are important and necessary. I am thankful for the Pauls, Johns, and Esthers of the world.

I am glad for those whose jobs keep the local church operating. There is nothing wrong with being the well-known church leaders.

On the same hand, though, for those of you who work behind the scenes and do seemingly “menial tasks”, YOU are important and necessary! Though you may never be well-known or be the fastest train on the track, YOU are just as vital.

I want to propose the Apostle Paul’s take on the matter. In Romans 16, he spent more than ten verses thanking people for their work in the Lord. These Romans 16 names are not the popular, most well-known heroes of the faith. (Priscilla and Aquila are probably the only well-known leaders on this list.)

None of the below names made it to the Hebrews 11 Wall of Faith. Paul was still thankful for each name, though, and he shouted-out their work for God regardless.

Check out these examples:

· Fellow Workers, Priscilla and Aquila vs. 3

· Mary who labored much for us vs. 6

· Andronicus and Junia, who are of note among the apostles vs. 7

· Urbanus, fellow worker in Christ vs. 9

· Tryphena and Tryphosa who have labored in the Lord vs. 12

· Persis who labored much in the Lord vs. 12

There are many more names on Paul’s list that I would have never known about if Paul did not include them in his appreciation list.

Just like that never-going-to-win-any-speed-trophies locomotive, the Piko has great value and benefit to the big picture. So do you! You have no idea how God can and has already used you to be a big deal in someone’s life.

~Plow on doing your part,



“The Great Model Train Race With 19 Trains”

By Jim Zim

May 8, 2020

Thank you to Jim Zim for permission to use his Piko Clean Machine in the above photograph.

You can learn more about Jim Zim on his website.


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Debbie Christopher
Debbie Christopher
Feb 12, 2023

Whistling along…being faithful and precise…not making a splash.

Love those people!

Sharon Czerwien
Sharon Czerwien
Feb 12, 2023
Replying to

So true! =]

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