How to Breathe God on a Stinky Bus

This a blog I originally posted on July 3, 2005.  I thought it would be good to revisit this.

What I would rather have right now is a vanilla, strawberry, banana milkshake, instead I’ve got this guy slobbering on me…

Bus20transit Riding a bus is an experience.  Often it’s crowded, stinky, and loud.  It starts quickly, zooms past a lot of coffee houses and stores.  The bus swerves to miss a bicyclist.  Then, suddenly, it brakes and comes to a quick stop.  You cough as exhaust fumes come tumbling in through the window.  Some people push their way off while others push their way on.   You get the creeps wondering why the person across the row is staring at you.  You wonder why nobody else seems to look anyone in the eye.  Just then you notice that the guy two rows ahead of you is picking his nose.  The couple behind you is arguing in some strange language.  Outside it’s raining and pouring.  Inside, the old man next to you is snoring.  Slobbering too… all over your shoulder.  And he’s invading your personal space more and more with his slumbering body.

How are we supposed to breathe in such a cramped, crazy place?  Wouldn’t you just like to get off early sometimes?  It’s hard to stay on a long, stinky ride and wait for your destination to arrive.  It can be very frustrating.  It’s hard not to roll your eyes at people or to talk about the way they’re dressed or to judge their lives.  Why do we have to ride in such a vehicle?  Why couldn’t we be driving BMW’s or some big Hummer?  After all, you and I are followers of God.  We deserve better.  Right?  Sometimes all we want to do is jump off early, before our exit, just to get off this wild ride. 

Well, actually, a Jesus Follower is supposed to ride transit in this world.  There’s no limo for us.  We’re in transit-ion.  This life on earth is not our final destination.  We’ve gotten on and we are headed towards a forever with God.  Meanwhile, loads of people have gotten on and off who don’t even realize that God loves them, that he exists and cares for them.  You and I are supposed to be living right now in front of, behind, and next to all those strange people in this messed up, invasive, moving planet. 

God wants us on the stinky bus.  He wants us wallowing in the sty of life so that we can invade others with his love.  He wants us to love that guy who fell asleep; to learn the language of that fighting couple so we can give them help; to extend our fingers to the nose picker (and hopefully teach him good hygiene); to embrace the people pushers (imagine giving a hug to the one who shoves you); to smile at the unloved; to notice the hiders; to pray for the ones who give you the creeps.  God wants us to love and live in between the stops. 

In a world filled with exhaust, may we breathe in his life so that we can exhale on others.


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