I never suspected what a significant role buses would play in my life. What’s wrong with me, right!? I’m sure all of you have sat around dreaming of days to come and their magic and thought, “I need to be around passenger buses more often. They’re gonna shape huge outcomes in my life.”
I can imagine you as an adventurous teen sneaking in to see the carnival card-reader, anxiously watching, helpless, as the bus card is turned over in your future stack. But me, I just overlooked the potential of a bus as a sign, omen or talisman. Rabbit foot, I don’t get but at least it will fit in my pocket. The same goes for a lucky coin or any number of other future shifting artifacts. Have you ever tried to put a bus in your pocket? Yeah, it’s hard, almost impossible.
Is there a point?
Yes, there is. I got a call the other day from the body shop that the car was ready. You remember the Golf? The one that got scrubbed NASCAR-style last year? Exactly, the same one that later got Shanghaied by a different bus. Well, the repairs were completed from the Bus Magnet incident and I needed to go pick it up.
Of course, I would have to ride a bus to get to the town where the car was. I waited in the rain with what I’d term patience. What? I’m working on it. Hopped on a bus and away I went. The weather and the time of day afforded me a semi-dry seat in the back next the rear exit. Awesome. Each time we stopped I got a refreshing blast of frigid road grime mist. No, that is not the new fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier.
Somewhere around halfway to my destination as we stopped to pick up more passengers, I noticed our driver decided to stay on the shoulder rather than enter the flow, not to mention we were creeping along. Then it hit me, “We’re coasting downhill.” The people-hauler died out and wouldn’t crank, so in an effort to deliver the passengers, we were letting gravity handle the motivation. We actually stopped and picked up other passengers in mid freefall then began to float some more.
At first the disturbing thing was that the driver didn’t seem the least bit surprised, as if he had been trained to drift the beast in just such a circumstance. Finally, we came to a rise in the road and the gravitational momentum halted our progress. The driver stepped off the bus and raised the hood. How ironic that the bus I took to retrieve my car from bus wreck repairs, breaks down.
Following the driver out was a passenger. I thought, “Great! We happen to have a diesel mechanic on board.” After about 15 minutes, the bus cranked up and we took off. I had drummed up some small talk with the folks around me. You know the whole, “I see you are a slave to sin” and “Repeat after me,” kinda stuff, so I wasn’t paying attention.
After a couple of near misses with some poor folks on motorcycles and some really bizarre swerving, I looked up front. There, standing next to the driver’s seat, was my bus driver. He was hanging on for dear life and giving instructions. To whom you ask? The passenger that got off to fix the bus earlier. That’s right, that guy was driving and I say that in the loosest of terms. It turns out the panicked look on the lady’s face across from me was not from my compelling Romans Road rendition.
I ended up getting off the bus about 10 blocks early. It was still headed to my destination but the driver had changed and I was not confident in him. I still needed to get where I was going and I knew the bus would pass by there, but I felt it wise to rethink my approach. Everything about the trip was the same. The same people were on board the same bus and we had the same destination. Everything except who the driver was.
Scores of people have given God the driver’s seat in their life. This isn’t that story. This is the one where I didn’t trust Him and took over driving again when life got a little bumpy.
Have you ever been going somewhere and, in the middle of the trip change drivers? How’d that go? Is God standing there beside you trying to shout instructions over the noise?