It’s been years since I’ve ridden on a school bus route for the sole purpose of getting to and from school.
Even now though, I still can’t see one of those big, yellow behemoths without being briefly taken back to my youthful days of riding the bus.
When I was in elementary school, we lived in rural North Central Kansas. North Central as in, seven miles from Nebraska. And rural as in, 90 (yes 90!) miles from the nearest Wal-Mart. So five days a week for year after year, I rode the big yellow school but from our house ten miles to town and back again.
But because we were so rural, our bus route was huge. Like, an hour and a half huge. And the way the route was set up, we were usually “first on, last off.” It made for some long (yet entertaining) days.
Many life lessons were learned on that big yellow beast. Like the farther back you sit, the higher you are going to bounce off the seat when it hits a pothole in the gravel road. And that, while very popular, sliding under the seats and “sneakily” jumping across the aisle were not overly safe activities. Oh, and school busses that travel on only gravel roads are incredibly dusty.
These memories make me grin and there was one day I would never forget…
The end of the route was nearing and I was the only one left on the bus. (I’m not sure where my sister was?) So I decided to put my feet up in the seat, lay down and take a little snooze. (That was before school busses had seat belts.) I settled down, mentally mapping the route in my head waiting for Mr. Nech the bus driver to turn down our road.
I waited… And waited… But we kept going straight. Maybe my timing was off. I started to get concerned, so I popped my little head up to look out the window.
My little elementary school heart was terrified. “He missed my turn! We are headed back to town. What if I have to spend the night in the bus barn? I am gonna get hungry. And cold. WHAT DO I DO!?!”
Believe it or not, I was kind of shy back then… (A lot has changed the last two decades.) I dug down deep in my little trembling heart and squeaked out a feeble plea…
“Um… Mr. Nech?”
His eyes flashed to the mirror, then widened with surprise. He muttered something (I don’t think it was a profanity– he was a real nice guy. And even if it was a dirty word, it was justified. :-))
“Sharita! What are you still doing back there?!?!”
Mr. Nech turned the bus around at the next intersection and I made it safely home. Crisis averted.
As I was reminiscing about this humorous adventure, I (as usual) thought about our relationship with God. While it was an honest mistake, God never forgets about us like my bus driver did.
He always knows where we are going, what we are doing. He constantly cares for us and answers our feeble little cries for help.
We never need to be terrified that He will overlook us or take us down an un-legit path.
Because as the wheels of our life-bus go round and round with daily activities, God is in the driver’s seat, tenderly and diligently guiding us until that glorious day when we finally arrive HOME.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” ~Genesis 28:15