Come along with me for a tour bus ride…
A man moves to a new city. He decides to take a tour bus ride to see his new surroundings, to allow a guide to show him the unexplored community he has joined.
The man climbs on-board the bus and takes his seat. No one else is on the bus; it’s a private charter. So, the man settles back in his seat, anticipating a pleasant journey.
As the guide drives, the man watches out his window as breathtaking scenes glide by like a travel slideshow. He notices the road ascends a mountain.
Every once in a while, the guide pulls over to an overlook and the man gets out to gaze at a beautiful, panoramic view of snow-covered mountains, or the sun glistening on a gorgeous lake below, or the sight of waving fields of grain. And every time the man gets out, he pulls out his phone to check his messages.
After a while, the ride becomes bumpy as the bus hits some deep potholes. The man goes upfront to see if he can help the guide avoid the mess in the road. Rattled, the man says, “Can’t you avoid these pits in the way? We’ll bounce right off the road and down the side of the cliff.”
With a smile, the guide graciously attempts to calm the man’s nerves by saying he knows what he’s doing. He says his way is the best way, as he knows the way and what’s ahead. Frustrated, the man goes back to his seat, reluctant to allow the guide to do his job. And when he sits down, he gets out his phone to send an email.
When the man looks out his window again, he sees scorched fields of wheat, once-verdant valleys now dried up, and mountainsides devoid of their lush and flourishing beauty. The new, unsightly conditions seem to last forever as scene after scene of devastation passes the man’s window.
The guide pulls the bus over to the side again and stops. Displeased by the view, the man refuses to get out. They sit there for some time. Impatient, the man checks his watch and his phone.
As the bus starts again, the man begins to criticize and blame the driver for taking such an adverse route and asks, “How much longer do I have to experience this mess? I didn’t get on this bus to see devastation; I wanted to see the beauty of my surroundings. Can you hurry up and get past these unpleasant scenes?”
The guide answers, “Not every part of the world, even in this community, is beautiful. Sometimes, you must pass through the ugly, the sordid, the misery, to get to the beauty once again.”
Suddenly, a deep fog envelops the bus. The man can barely see out his window. Rather frightened, he goes up front to check the road ahead. The guide reassures him that all is well; he knows the road ahead perfectly.
After a while, the fog clears, but ominous clouds roll in and darkness spreads. The man cannot see anything, not even the seat in front of him. Flashes of lightning light the sky and the inside of the bus, startling the man. The winds howl and rock the bus from side to side; thunder claps shock the man’s ears, making him jolt.
Trying to reassure the man, the guide says, “I know where we’re going. I see what you do not. You’ll enjoy the ride much more if you’ll just relax and let me take you there. We’ll get through it all, no matter what comes up.”
As the storm dissipates and the sun breaks through the clouds, the guide pulls over to another overlook. The man gets out to catch a glimpse of a beautiful, panoramic view of snow-capped mountains with a verdant valley and a sun-kissed lake.
The guide says, “Such is life for everyone. Black clouds of trials, storms of lack, winds of adversity, spells of dryness, and times of heartaches roll into the life of each person. It comes with the beauty. But peace will always go with you when you relax and let your guide do the driving. You were safe with me all along.”
The man heaves a sigh of relief as tears begin to flow down his cheeks, as he now sees his life in a new light.
“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you
along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.’”
(Ps. 32:8 NLT)
***Since very few readers responded to my survey, I didn’t learn much. I guess things will stay pretty much as they are.