It may sound inane, but some of life’s most significant lessons are learned at the Bus-stop. Nothing like waiting in the pouring rain or billowing snow to prepare you for the discomfort of real-time challenges.
How many hours of our existence will be spent in that same quintessential “Hurry up and Wait” mode? Probably, way too many. As a newly-minted adult on your own two legs, the first thing you learn is you can’t be late for work, so if you don’t have your own transportation, buses are, unfortunately, necessary. Momma won’t wake you six times either, so hustle out of bed and get after it. Firstly, life is not going to come to you anymore…you’re going to have to go after it!
Some stops actually have a shelter, which is great news when the weather is tough, but chances are, the spot is also an important route point, so there’ll be many connectors jostling for a spot. Nothing compares to the outrage of being the one in line when the door snaps shuts in your face! The bus is full, so wait for the next one. Like choosing a well-worn career path assured of success, it sounds smart…but the competition is fierce. You’ll need the hide of a Rhino to navigate antagonistic waters of higher education, job interviews, co-worker rivalry and the networking jungle. Brace yourself for the gross unfairness of life, because racism, sexism, ageism and thousand and one hidden biases are about to blast full-force against you.
At stops with no shelter, even strangers huddle together in bad weather to break the wind like a herd of cattle. Count on everything running late. There’s nothing like the relief of climbing aboard that light and warmth when you are chilled to the bone. Unfortunately, sometimes your expected bus is already jammed full of commuters (who couldn’t get their cars started), and whizzes right by, splattering you with the finally insult of dirty sludge. !@**#. Daggnabitt! Great! When is the next one? The second law of thermodynamics dictates in nature that things don’t stop at bad, they go to worse! A state of order degenerates to chaos. Unforeseen circumstances snowball, leaving you in the lurch, freezing, wet, sloppy and miserable; thoroughly out of sorts by the time you get into work.
Maybe you’re stuck in an isolated suburban spot at the end of the line, forced to wait at a ridiculous pre-dawn hour with only the stinging wind for companionship. This is “The Road Not Taken” option in life, and there’s a good reason why not many take it! You want to be an eccentric, an original, an Alpha who goes where the snow isn’t broken? It’s yours; but prepare for long, lonely sessions at ungodly hours tarrying vulnerably in the middle of nowhere. The bus will come, eventually.
This year, 2020 will go down in the books as an interminable wait at the bus-stop for a vehicle that just never came. Solutions should have been here by now. Never before have we had so much focused scientific attention and concerted coordination working on a viral vaccine at one time. For those whose religion is science, you’ve got to be disappointed. There’s a mob gathering at the bus-stop and the mood is ugly. Things are starting to get smashed. We’re stalled; going nowhere.
But the bus-stop stories aren’t all bad. Though evils and predicaments abound, Good Samaritans also make an appearance. One blistering summer afternoon, I was standing alone at a strangely placed, triangular stop atop the highway overpass, headed home. A massive thunderstorm was brewing and breaking, and I was helpless. As the wind whipped viciously, an older, decidedly well-dressed couple pulled up in their Lincoln Continental, no less, and asked if they could assist a damsel in distress. In desperation, I did something I’ve never done before. I got into that car with strangers who kindly dropped me off, mere minutes later, a block from home. I belted gratefully for the house as the fury unleashed.
I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40:1-3, 16-18
I've stopped waiting for the bus of human solutions. I'm looking for chariots of fire!
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