One cold Chicago morning, I stood peering through the oval window of our red door, waiting for the school bus to take me to second grade. The bus came and sat patiently at the end of our long gravel driveway. I thought since I was waiting for my sister to get ready, I might like to say ‘hello’ to the driver. So I waved. No response. I waved more vigorously, but the driver never returned my friendly salutation. Instead, she closed the door and the bus lurched ahead. In a moment it was gone. I couldn’t believe it. I just wanted to say ‘hi.’
I spent a good portion of that day writing “I will not miss the bus.” over and over. One hundred times, I think.
Looking back, I will admit that way at the back of my eight-year-old mind, I remembered having ‘waved the bus on’ other days when we were sick and wouldn’t be going to school. But of course the bus driver would know this time I didn’t mean that kind of waving. Surely she knew my intent.
Opportunity gone, because I was thinking and not acting.
I love to think. I can spend whole days thinking. Dishes remain where they are, and laundry stinketh, this being the fourth day. Surely the utility bill understands I’m thinking about deep and interesting things, even spiritual things. Surely the dust bunnies will wink at this delay. I’m thinking.
Let me not confuse–by ‘thinking,’ I don’t mean ‘praying.’ I don’t mean studying and mediating on the Word. I mean glazed-over wonderment at any random topic.
As I grow up older, I am beginning to realize the direction(s) of God are rarely the Paul-like, as in the bright, blinding light and booming Voice from heaven. More often, it is the series of small steps taken by which He guides those who seek His Will. It is a bus taken here, a right turn made there. A gesture here, a phone call there. And a very ordinary, day-in, day-out communion with the Lover of my soul.
But let’s not get cocky. “Ordinary” communion with the God of the universe never is. And that bus taken, though it wouldn’t seem such a big deal, alters the direction of life. This is how He often leads.
When you’re walking with someone you love, elbow-to-elbow, all it takes is a small nudge to direct you towards one direction over another. Not a screaming, “GO THAT WAY NOW!!” Ouch. I’m right here. You can just whisper, if you want…or just nudge. I’ll follow You.
Now, drastic measures are not needed to secure our attention. We’re not deaf, nor are we blind. We walk in the Light. Don’t we?
Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the LORD’s servant? (Isaiah 42:19)
“Perfect” here can mean someone who is at peace, having made peace through covenant or agreement. It means complete, restitution made.
Now, I don’t say this to foster doubt about salvation. What I do mean is that there were a whole lotta people in first century Jerusalem who had committed themselves to a covenant of peace, who followed the laws of Moses with vehement zeal,
who missed the bus.
The most important proverbial bus ever.
They were too busy demanding a deafening war cry and pounding hoofbeats to hear the cry of a baby in Bethlehem.
The striking fact here: the war cry never came. They’re still waiting for it. Yes, it will come at the End (another post…on another blog 😉 ), but will it then be too late?
What about your bus? In a covenant of peace, yes, but do you walk near enough to feel the gentle nudge? To hear the whisper, “this way…”
When the bus comes, will you stand there, stupefied in abstract thought? Will you have forgotten your homework? Will you just wave at God-ordained opportunity? Or will you jump on?