Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bus

The other day, I was on a bus. I love riding on buses because you never know what is going to happen: Are you going to sleep? Are you going to have a conversation with someone interesting? Are you going to pretend to sleep while you are really listening in on someone else's interesting conversation? (I hope I am not the only person who does this...)

On this particular bus ride, I climbed into a bus and there were enough seats for everyone (that’s always a plus when the ride is going to be over an hour), so now I had to decide where to sit. In the back of the bus, all the cool people were hanging out and chatting up at storm. Up in the front of the bus were the quiet people who looked like they needed sleep. I would have been perfectly happy with either group. As I deliberated, however, I felt a nudging inside to sit in the front (with the sleepy people) and have a conversation. There was a young man there with an iPod plugged into his ears. He looked like he wanted sleep more than I did (and I had been up ‘til 2:00 a.m. the night before), but I felt like I should sit next to him, and that I was supposed to talk with him.

This feeling made me excited; I love having a mission!  I figured that I would sit there and God would lead us in a really deep conversation about something deep and personal. So, I happily obeyed that nudge.

I was disappointed. I struck up a conversation with the young man, and we chatted about different things. We talked about where I went to school, world travels, and adoption. We had a good time, but it was not what I expected at all. So after I got off the bus I was kinda (okay, really) disappointed.

But I went on with my life like always. I rationalized that maybe that feeling I had felt on the bus was something I ate and not something spiritual. In short, I wrote it off.

This is where the story usually stops. I can talk about what I learned or speculate about the possible results, but not much more. And we all have stories that end like this. If you’re an optimist, you assume that God used you in a significant way. If you’re more like me, you assume that you misunderstood the situation in the first place.

But, for some reason, (likely because it taught me a huge lesson about expectations), I was allowed to see the rest of the story, in this instance. Through a series of surprising events, I discovered that my conversation with that young man thrown his world into a spin. In the course of the conversation, I had almost carelessly mentioned that I had my plans and God decided to do something else. I had said, "If God wants something done, He will make a way for it to happen."

This young man didn't let on at all, but that comment stuck in his head. He had his own plans for his life and that moment helped him see that God might have a whole different plan and that might be harder (and better). And God could make it happen.

The lesson God wanted to show that young man was the same lesson that I lived in this experience: Following God may lead you to something you didn't expect and you may not see how he is going to use it, but He will. It is not all in our hands. And that’s a good thing.

I don’t know who learned more that day, but it just makes me excited when I get on a bus, because even if I am not the one having a Divine conversation, I might be able to listen in on someone else’s while I pretend to be asleep.

Post by Jeremiah

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