Sharing a Bus Ride Together
I remember riding the bus as a teenager. We called it, “Catching the bus!!” It was the “11th Avenue and Fellowship Gardens bus.” If you wanted to go downtown, this was the bus to take from my house. I’ve seen buses before with all types of signs that displayed their destination. All buses are not created equal and all buses are not going to the same destination. They may be the same make and model, same color, and even be on the same street, headed in the same direction, but all are not going to the same place.
If you wanted to ride the bus, you had to stand out on the corner or wait at the bus stop. This would signal the bus driver that you wanted to board the bus. When the bus stops, you climb aboard, pay the fare and take a seat. The bus will make many stops along the way to your destination. You do not get off the bus until you have arrived at your destination. It is your responsibility to know when you have arrived. To get off the bus, you pulled down the wire and it signaled to the bus driver that you want to get off at the next stop or you stand up and walk to the door front or side door of the bus. The doors open and you step off the bus.
A friend texted me this morning while i was lying in bed. You are up this early? Early mornings are always inspirational for me. My greatest ideas have come during the wee hours of the morning. We had a few exchanges back and forth, then the idea, “Sharing a Bus Ride Together,” came to me. When a writing idea shows up, I have to immediately dismiss myself from whatever I am doing to chase that thought. It’s how I got on this bus right now.
I remember the bus ride downtown very vividly. I can hear the bus engine roaring from the rear of the bus because that’s where the engine is. I can smell the diesel
fuel burning, and you could always see the black smoke billowing from the exhaust pipe of the bus as it pulled off.
More importantly, I remember the people. Very seldom did I ride the bus by myself. There was either people on the bus prior to me boarding or people who got on after me. Sometimes, the bus would be packed and at other times it would only be me, the driver and the scary man that sat in the back. Everybody knew not to sit back there. I remember how dark it was at night, but the inside of the bus was always lit up with huge windows!!
Like the sometimes bumpy bus ride, this may be a bumpy transition, but I want to stop and compare my bus ride to what I consider, “The Bus Ride of LIFE.” I would have taken the time to smooth this out but I have a 5am walk and the beach calling my name.
In this life, people come and go. Like the bus, people board at different times and get off at different stops along the way. As much as the bus ride may be YOUR life, sometimes we share the ride with others along with way. We never finish with the people we start with anyway.
This is a great life lesson to learn. People get on and get off the bus, when they need to. You have your journey and they have theirs. Don’t trip!! Everybody is not going to the same destination. People cross our paths everyday. It’s just like the bus ride. I want to thank God for all of the people that I have had the privilege of sharing a ride with along this path of life. Even if it’s been for two blocks!! I also thank God for those who are still seated on the bus with me. I apologize to those that signaled the bus driver to let them off early because of me. Sometimes you would rather walk than to suffer and ride with some people.
At this point in my journey, I recognize that riding the bus requires you to look up and see our own reflection at times. The fourteen year old Rick has turned into the fifty-three year old Richard. I’ve been on this bus for a while and I don’t think I have forever to ride. None of do. I’m closer to downtown than I’ve ever been. When you’ve been riding the bus for a minute, faces become familiar. If you ride long enough, you become the scary old man in the back. New riders don’t even know who you really are.
I feel like I’ve been rambling and I still haven’t gotten to the point I want to make. Let me try it again.
Value the people that share a ride with you. You really don’t know if the ride will be extensive or short lived. Either way, make it a pleasant trip. Learn what you can, help however you can, ask questions, and give complements. Listen more than you talk. If you are the smartest person on the bus, everybody else is jumping off. I think it’s really something for us to be mindful of. Please don’t try to force everybody to stay on the bus with you because you don’t want to ride alone. Staying on the bus one block too long, makes for a longer walk home.
Remember it’s YOUR ride. I pray that you honor the people that God allows you to share a ride with, even if they are not going downtown.
One of these days, your bus will come to a complete stop and the driver will say, “This is as far as you can go!!” When you step off the bus, you will be at your destination. No one can get off with you and even if they do, everybody still walks in different directions to finish. You can’t take anything with you. You will have the memories of the people that you shared a ride with along the way.
You don’t want to be the subject of the dinner discussion that bashes “the loud mouth on the bus,” that wouldn’t shut up.
“On the bus today, I met the most amazing person in the world.” I really think that this is what we would like people to say.
I like what Luther Vandross said, “If only for one night.” Let us share this ride together, even if it’s only for one mile.
Well look at the time. I have missed my 5am walk, riding with you. I must admit, it’s been worth it. Sometimes when the ride is really pleasant, you don’t mind going a little further?
Oh yes, I forgot to warn you, stop trying to date and marry everybody that gets on the bus with you. Sharing a ride does not mean sharing a lifetime. Develop friendships and let God cultivate the rest. You can’t possibly fall in love with everybody that boards the bus can you?
Let’s share and enjoy the remainder of this bus ride together. I thank you and appreciate you.
I love you