what I learned from riding the bus

This is my last full week riding Colorado Springs’ Mountain Metro. Next week I leave for Louisville, Ky. and will be driving back to Colorado Springs in my parents’ car. They are generously allowing me to borrow it for a while. As a glimpse of transportational (a word I made up) freedom is on the horizon, I’m asking myself, What has riding the bus taught me?

Here are my top five (some thought-provoking, some hilarious) experiences:

5. You never really know who you’re sitting around. One afternoon as I took the bus home I overheard a portion of a conversation between a man and a woman about how they ended up taking the bus. The man said, “You were in prison how long?” I couldn’t hear what the woman said, but then the man responded, “I’ve only been in jail for a few days.” I smiled and thought, What in the world am I doing on the bus? At the same time I wonder if Jesus lived in Colorado Springs if He would be riding the bus, sitting beside those exact people, and showing them grace and love they may have never known.

4. Everyone wants to be honest with how they are doing. I sat beside Ernie one morning. He accidentally spilled his soda on the floor of the bus. I asked him if he was having a rough morning. He then started to vent about all the problems he was currently dealing with. Many times I ask people how they are doing and I receive the answer, “Fine.” But how many of those times have those people longed to really share, and not hold anything back. I need to be ready to listen when I pose such a question.

3. When you’re late for the bus run fast! But sometimes unexpected delays will get you there just in time. On Sunday I figured out how to catch the bus to get home from church. In the past I had taken the bus to church and planned another ride home. I walked down the hill toward the intersection I’d have to cross to get to the bus stop. I had to cross twice. As I neared the intersection I saw the bus sitting at the light ready to turn left and pass that bus stop. The next bus would come in another hour. I started to run! Then all of a sudden a police car and two cops on motorcycles filled the intersection. They stopped traffic on all sides. Ha! The bus couldn’t go anywhere. A fire truck came up through the intersection and proceeded to lead hundreds of men and women on motorcycles from Nevada Ave. up Austin Bluffs Parkway. This parade of motorcycles lasted at least 20 minutes. I had plenty of time to get to the stop. I couldn’t help but laugh. I thought to myself, Wow God, that was an amazing way to help me make it to the bus on time!
2. What may be inconvenient is usually most important. It’s not convenient to take the bus. I’ve been trained that if it isn’t convenient then we really shouldn’t bother. There are times that I’ve dreaded having to take the bus to and from work because of the inconvenience. But then when I’ve kept my eyes and heart open sometimes I recognize how my inconvenience could benefit someone else or serve someone else or simply be there for someone else. God had allowed me to build one significant connection with a person I’ve met because of the bus. If it wasn’t for not having a car I don’t think I would’ve met her. I see how our connection has led her to more connections with people who follow Christ. I have no idea what God is up to in her life, but I’m thankful for the inconvenience that I pray someday may lead her to Jesus.

1. We all want to be noticed. There are a couple bus drivers who notice when I’m gone and ask about me when I return again. One driver says, “It’s always great to see you!” And then another says, “How are you today?” and “Take care,” when I get off. Not all of the drivers are like that, but so many of these people use this opportunity to build community and get to know the people they are serving. I love that! I want to be more like that with people I know and only see every once in a while.

trip two
I leave on Tuesday to begin trip number two of support raising. Pray for me as I fly to Louisville and then drive to TN, NC, SC, AR,OK, TX. It’s going to be a fun two weeks. I’ll have a lot of time on the road, some with my dad and some by myself. I can’t wait to see those of you I’ve contacted. If I didn’t contact you and you live in any of those states, send me an e-mail and I’ll see what I can do.

Thanks and blessings to all of you!

3 thoughts on “what I learned from riding the bus

  1. Convenience . . .an American thing, and not necessarily a great thing in the long run. It doesn’t do much to build character . . .OR relationships! Cheered to read your good account of riding the bus.Love,Tara

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