Moving Towards The Front of the Bus

If we think about our own lives as being a journey on a bus, surrounded by a great variety of people, all with particular positions on our bus that relate to where they fit into our lives. Some are right there next to us; some behind us; some in front of us… but all are important in playing some role in how we are “positioned” in their lives, and they in ours.

As I write this I am reminded of the movie ‘Speed’ with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves – where they were all on a bus being controlled by a maniac demanding a ransom. The truth is that all too often our lives can be like that; out of control, with someone else doing the driving. A fearful situation? Of course it is!

The brutal truth is that so many people are living-out that nightmare bus-ride right now! Out of control – and don’t know what they can do about it.

OK, now you’ve got the scene in your mind. In order to get some perspective on our own lives, we need to move to the back seat of the bus for a while, and become the observer of what is really going on.

We need to observe who the most significant people are, and how they are positioned in our lives.

Are they standing over us because they feel superior? Are they moving forward in their own lives and leaving us behind? Are they falling behind us because we’ve chosen to move forward? Are they walking along side of us in the journey……can we stop agreeing to disagree and get right. Because getting right moves us forward. We have to ask and get answered these questions.

So now we are faced with the important question, ‘Who’s driving your bus?’

Is it someone from your past who has dominated you and what you do, even though they may not still be present in your life now? Are they taking you where you want to go? Do you feel like you would like to the bus to stop and let you off? Now here comes the challenge…

From this rear seat of observation, we need to start to move closer to the driver’s seat. It doesn’t matter how long this takes, and it doesn’t matter how much we are challenged by the people who may be trying to block our progress forward. We have to do this for ourselves… starting right now!

Our goal is to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives! We need to stop letting circumstances dictate our arrival time and our destinations.

It is inevitable that we are going to be challenged, and that’s when we need courage!

Yes – we will all take different lengths of time to move forward… that’s when we need persistence, and patience with ourselves!

Most certainly we will feel daunted at times by this process… that’s when we need to have determination!

We are going to have to ask people to vacate their seats (which can possibly be their dominant positions in our lives) so that we can move forward towards that front seat we wish to occupy. We are going to have to sit in the middle of the bus at times while we learn to muster more courage and determination to move forward again. This is all part of the process, so stick with it because this is all for YOU!

During this process of moving forward we must remain conscious of where the bus is now, and think about where we really want to take it once we’re up front, and in control.

One very important point! At no stage in this process do we tread on someone if they get in our way (as we move forward), simply step around them and move on setting a good moral example as we pass by.

OK – you’ve made it! You have asked the driver to step aside and let you have your turn, and now you’re in the seat. It’s all up to you now!

If you’re not too sure of what to do and how to do it, just stop and park for a while. It doesn’t matter what you do and how long it takes, because this is your game now – so play it your way!

Get crystal clear on where you choose to take your bus now, and very clear on who you wish to accompany you on this new journey.

We all need Someone bigger than us that can see the process, the journey, our intentions and the destination, navigating us through the valleys. It’s in God that we find our map, our seat, our way, our fuel and getting to that place I’ve so often heard of; a place called “there.”

The rest is a process of trusting in God, Creator of all you and I see. Making good sound judgments and decisions. Not all the time will our judgments and decisions bring fruit, but they will get you to the next corner of decision.

God bless . . . and always remember – ‘What other people do or say is their stuff; how we react is our stuff.’

Jer 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Prov 16:9A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. “

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LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES

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We touch the lives of others in ways we often never know. People sometimes come into our personal world for fleeting moments and can leave us forever changed.

We have more power to create or to destroy than we can imagine. We can leave things or individuals better or worse than we found them.

A look, a word, a gesture has tremendous impact and frequently we blither along through our existence unaware of the mighty power that our communication wields. Here’s an example:

It was a rainy, humid day: the mother of all bad hair days. I was riding on a bus downtown to go to work. The windows on the bus were covered in condensation so thick you couldn’t see outside. Everyone was wilting.

I was sitting next to a man in a business suit and didn’t pay much attention until we both got off at the same stop and walked to the same newsstand to get a morning paper.

The man running the stand was obviously having a bad day. He was rude, abrupt and unsmiling as we purchased our papers, which served to only add more gloom to my day. The businessman caught my eye and smiled. He then proceeded to smile brightly, thank the newsstand proprietor for the paper and for being open on such a morning to make sure we were able to get our papers. In short, he expressed his appreciation for something most of us would take for granted.

The man running the newsstand responded only with a grunt and a sour expression. The businessman then pleasantly wished him a pleasant day. As we turned away, I asked this man why he had continued to be pleasant to the newsman when he obviously didn’t care about and didn’t respond to his expression of appreciation and friendliness. The businessman grinned at me and said, “Why would I let someone else control what I say and what I feel or what kind of day I’m going to have?”

We then separated to go to our respective work places. To this day, I don’t know who that business man was, where he worked, or anything else about him. I never saw him again, even though I looked for him on the bus on other days. He appeared briefly in my life and disappeared just as quickly. I don’t even remember what he looked like. But I’ve never forgotten the words he said or the way his smile seemed like a shaft of light on a gloomy day.

That was a good 25 years ago, but the impact this had on my life has lasted. I never had a chance to thank him personally, but the way in which I try to choose to look at life as a result of those words is his legacy to me and my thanks to him.

Our interactions with the people we encounter can impact at least the next five people that person encounters. A smile and words of simple appreciation multiply themselves geometrically. We cannot control people and situations that come to us, but we can always control our response to them. And in such positive decisions lie our control and personal power to make a positive difference. And it’s something anyone and everyone can do. It is a real legacy that can impact both the present and the future.

Credit Gail P. E.

Thanks Gail! 🙂

 
Philippians 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Rainy Night in New Orleans

Rainy-Night-in-New-Orleans

It was a rainy night in New Orleans;
At a bus station in the town,
I watched a young girl weeping
As her baggage was taken down.

It seems she’d lost her ticket
Changing buses in the night.
She begged them not to leave her there
With no sign of help in sight.

The bus driver had a face of stone
And his heart was surely the same.
“Losing your ticket’s like losing cash money,”
He said, and left her in the rain.

Then an old Indian man stood up
And blocked the driver’s way
And would not let him pass before
He said what he had to say.

“How can you leave that girl out there?
Have you no God to fear?
You know she had a ticket.
You can’t just leave her here.

You can’t put her out in a city
Where she doesn’t have a friend.
You will meet your schedule,
But she might meet her end.”

The driver showed no sign
That he’d heard or even cared
About the young girl’s problem
Or how her travels fared.

So the old gentleman said,
“For her fare I’ll pay.
I’ll give her a little money
To help her on her way.”

He went and bought the ticket
And helped her to her place
And helped her put her baggage
In the overhead luggage space.

“How can I repay,” she said,
“The kindness you’ve shown tonight?
We’re strangers who won’t meet again
A mere ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem right.”

He said, “What goes around comes around.
This I’ve learned with time – –
What you give, you always get back;
What you sow, you reap in kind.

Always be helpful to others
And give what you can spare;
For by being kind to strangers,
We help angels unaware.”

Heb 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

NEWS YOU MIGHT CAN USE

And… There Goes the Empire

Obey = Slavery, Disobey = Freedom

 

 

Wild Flowers on the Bus

Even though some stories don’t end like you want or need them to, but a lot of times you can glean some inspiration in between. I did, hope you will too. “…ofthestory.”

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We were a very motley crowd of people who took the bus every day that summer 33 years ago. During the early morning ride from the suburb, we sat drowsily with our collars up to our ears, a cheerless and taciturn bunch.

One of the passengers was a small grey man who took the bus to the center for senior citizens every morning. He walked with a stoop and a sad look on his face when he, with some difficulty, boarded the bus and sat down alone behind the driver. No one ever paid very much attention to him.

Then one July morning he said good morning to the driver and smiled short-shortsightedly down through the bus before he sat down. The driver nodded guardedly. The rest of us were silent.

The next day, the old man boarded the bus energetically, smiled and said in a loud voice: “And a very good morning to you all!” Some of us looked up, amazed, and murmured “Good morning,” in reply.

The following weeks we were more alert. Our friend was now dressed in a nice old suit and a wide out-of-date tie. The thin hair had been carefully combed. He said good morning to us every day and we gradually began to nod and talk to each other.

One morning he had a bunch of wild flowers in his hand. They were already dangling a little because of the heat. The driver turned around smilingly and asked: “Have you got yourself a girlfriend, Charlie?” We never got to know if his name really was “Charlie”, but he nodded shyly and said yes.

The other passengers whistled and clapped at him. Charlie bowed and waved the flowers before he sat down on his seat.

Every morning after that Charlie always brought a flower. Some of the regular passengers began bringing him flowers for his bouquet, gently nudged him and said shyly: “Here.” Everyone smiled. The men started to jest about it, talk to each other, and share the newspaper.

The summer went by, and autumn was closing in, when one morning Charlie wasn’t waiting at his usual stop. When he wasn’t there the next day and the day after that, we started wondering if he was sick or — hopefully — on holiday somewhere.

When we came nearer to the center for senior citizens, one of the passengers asked the driver to wait. We all held our breaths when she went to the door.

Yes, the staff said, they knew who we were talking about. The elderly gentleman was fine, but he hadn’t been coming to the center that week. One of his very close friends had died at the weekend. They expected him back on Monday. How silent we were the rest of the way to work.

The next Monday Charlie was waiting at the stop, stooping a bit more, a little bit more gray, and without a tie. Inside the bus was a silence akin to that in a church. Even though no one had talked about it, all those of us, who he had made such an impression on that summer, sat with our eyes filled with tears and a bunch of wild flowers in our hands.

Semper Fi: Military Love

I really appreciate those of you who liked these military blogs. I’m grateful to people like my dad. I only have a couple more stories on the Marines and have only recently (in the process) shared them with my dad. There are no copyrights on these stories. If they blessed you; please print them out, copy and paste if you wish. Enjoy them! And make sure someone else does too! 

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A long read but worth it

The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.

It had been a year since Susan, 34, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. And all she had to cling to was her husband, Mark.

Mark was an Marine officer and he loved Susan with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again.

Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan, and fulfilled Mark’s need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however, Mark realized the arrangement wasn’t working. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But she was still so fragile, so angry-how would she react?

Just as he predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. “I’m blind!,” she responded bitterly. “How am I supposed to know where I am going? I feel like you’re abandoning me.”

Mark’s heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat.

Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus-riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, and his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself.

On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying the fare to exit the bus, the driver said, “Boy, I sure do envy you.” Susan wasn’t sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year?

Curious, she asked the driver, “Why do you say that you envy me?” The driver responded, “It must feel good to be taken care of and protected like you are.”

Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and again asked, “What do you mean?”

The driver answered, “You know, every morning for the past week, a fine-looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you as you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one blessed lady.”

Tears of happiness poured down Susan’s cheeks. For although she couldn’t physically see him, she had always felt Mark’s presence. She was blessed, so blessed, for she had felt he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn’t need to see to believe-the gift of love that can bring light where there is darkness.

SEMPER FI

………….and God loves us too! Just because you cannot see Him; does not mean He isn’t still there