As we finish up another day on the job heading home in our nice vehicles, how many of us realize how blessed we really are?
How many of us understand how fragile our lives can be and that we are not the one who woke our own selves up this morning?
While we might profess those words in the presence of others at the church service or at the dinner table during the grace, our actions oftentimes are very much contrary to those very prayers who for the most part are spoken in “automatic verbal cruise control mode!”
We can sound so convincing and humble when we “pray on display” but our arrogance comes out during our daily walk only to show what is really in our hearts.
The way I see it, every time we drive past someone in the street who is homeless, destitute or out of their natural mind we need to be thanking our God above for not allowing us to be in that sad situation. But most of the time we are in our own world mentally to understand that we can fall into that very same situation and even worse! But so many of us feel as though we are untouchable to the travesties of life as think that we are going to cruise through this existence as though it were a music video.
Life just doesn’t work like that.
There is not a day that goes by where this particular phrase that I discovered on the Internet goes through my head saying that “If you want to make God laugh then tell Him YOUR plans!
Seriously! Really absorb those words! How many of us make plans without even consulting with The One who is the orchestrator of it all? How pompous is that?
Many of you who follow this blog regularly know that I drive a public transportation city bus here in Orlando Florida in the evening hours of my day, because of this in a sense I am paid to be out in the street day in and day out. This keeps me in touch with the pulse of the city in a very unique stimulating way that keeps my mind jump started and equipped to go into a deeper thought process from the constant and unpredictable events around me.
What I witness every single day truly keeps me grounded and forever thankful for the precious gift of life! I am exposed to grim realities that keep me grounded because I know that without divine protection that I can end up as just another statistic or tragic story on the evening news programs just like so many others have unexpectedly.
Here is one that has really been sticking out in my mind recently…….:
Just the other day when I was about to pull off from downtown bus station an older gentleman made it on my bus just in the nick of time and grabbed the front seat and began to speak to me.
For a second I almost put up my mental barriers up to filter his words as to not vet distracted to the very important task at hand, especially when you have a few dozen people depending on you to get them home safely.
He had on some really stylish clothes that looked crisp and well kept even though they were from an era long gone by. It seems like when you get to certain age it seems that it doesn’t matter anymore if the clothes that you are wearing are forty years old as long as they are clean, sharp and represent the time period from which they come from properly. They one thing that he seemed to rock really well was that classic dark brown fedora that he had slightly tilted to the side on his head. Seems like older age didn’t rob all of his former presence and style to play with after his transition into maturity. LOL!
He told me how he lived his live for so many decades as a womanizing quick tempered man who earned most of his income from the underworld dealings that he was known for and how glad he was to have finally found the peace in his heart that came from his obedience to God through his walk with Christ as he got saved and turned his life around not too long ago…….
But not to speak bad about anyone who professes the joys of a Christian walk but I happen to hear this or at least overhear this everyday. I’m not being sarcastic when I say this. What I mean is that I hear so many people profess this in an insincere manner only to hear them days later speaking in an entirely different spirit as they have backsliden back into their ways as though their prior righteous way of talking never took place.
This is bound to happen when you observe people over time and really see their deceitful manipulative ways, but there was something about this old guys bus ride testimony to me that really hit home!
He was the real thing as far as I was concerned, he didn’t even try to stop the flow and projection of the street swagger that he obvious gained from a life in the underbelly of society. This to me made him even more convincing, because you could tell that there was a sincerity in his words that was so authentic because of his no nonsense shoot from the hip manner in which he spoke.
He undeniably and enthusiastically professed Jesus Christ to me as his Lord and Savior. He wasn’t loud or looking for the attention that most manipulative hucksters do when they come down off of their last crack hit and try to impress their fellow bus passengers with a grand testimony of some type of “instant personal transformation after the clouds parted and lightning struck a bush that burned afterward and told them that God had changed them” only to enable them to take up a grand collection only to head straight over to the crack spot once again to happily backslide into the activity that they were never really delivered from in the first place!
But I could feel the power of his joy as he told me how empty he felt throughout most of his life and that all of the wild and crazy things he did that he thought would bring him happiness only seemed to drive him further down into a dark hole of despair in his heart.
He spoke of how he needed to become even more of a thrill seeker to get the same rush of fleeting pleasure that left him with an even longer lasting sense of depression afterward. The more this man spoke was the more I was convinced that I needed to ask him to share his testimony on my camera to share it with the world on my YouTube channel. But as I was just about to ask him he pulled the cord to alert me to the fact that the next stop was his…….
Man! Just as his words were getting good he had to go! Trust me. If I could have written all that he shared with in this blog it probably would be a ten part miniseries but it would have had you on the edge of your seat the entire time!
But as I brought the forty foot mammoth of a vehicle called the Lynx bus to a complete halt, this man who was made into a new creature because of his ascension in the the divine realm of being saved stood up over me and asked me to stand. I didn’t even question why he asked me to do so and I didn’t hesitate because of the bus being packed to the hilt with anxious and disgruntled passengers because I already knew why he wanted me to. We hugged the most sincere and tightest hug that you could ever imagine. This was some kind of divine affirmation for me that I just couldn’t yet figure out.
The passengers kept quiet but observed this divine display of affection that is not a frequent sight in the distressed Black communities across the land. They too knew that this was something special. After we embraced I went to reach for one of my business cards to hand to him so that he might be able to reach out to me easily when he had the time. I was determined to get him to inspire the masses through his private testimony if he felt comfortable enough in doing so.
But the parting words that he left me with struck me as strange. They struck me in a way that told me he knew more about our brief connection than he desired to reveal at that time. As he took my card and briefly looked at it he gazed back at me as soon as his foot touched the curb and told me that while this may be his stop, we will definitely meet again one day to continue this joyous conversation as long as I do what I am suppose to do while still on this level in obedience to my Creator. Just be glad for the time that we just spent connecting and everything will be alright…….
Wow! What loaded words he spoke! I knew that there was a big meaning behind it but I just couldn’t put my finger on what he meant exactly. Oh well, I will just meditate for the rest of the day on it and maybe it will come to me.
Well meditate I did! I dissected his words from every conceivable angle and filtered them until they couldn’t be broken down any more. I caught flashes of understanding from what he said but I was looking for something deeper more so than the obvious of what he said. But I concluded that some things that come to you aren’t really meant to be revealed at the time of delivery and that maybe really soon I will understand what he meant by what he said.
I’m just like that and always have been, I mean, I look for deeper meanings into things that maybe I really shouldn’t look into. But I’ve come to the conclusion that being this way has made life more interesting for me as very few things get past my guard because of my attention to detail.
Well, the rest of the trip on that particular bus route was routine. Same faces, same attitudes and the same zombie like movements. I began to think back on this man to whom it slipped me to ask him his name. But for someone to whom I would say is in his mid seventies although he didn’t look a day over his mid fifties, had more zeal and enthusiasm in those few moments with me than the energy of most people combined in my entire day! And for that I am truly thankful!
I seemed to move along the bus route quite swiftly but always holding to the schedule that I must adhere to, it was my perception. When I find myself very deep in thought, I enter into a timeless space that allows the long evening of driving to move along in a manner that makes it feel like minutes. I don’t know how to explain it but I love this zone. It’s like everything goes on automatic and I can somewhat tell what will happen just a few minutes into my future. It’s a divine connectedness and a knowing feel, and the more I am prayed up and connected to the divine, the stronger this feeling is.
So as I approached the area where I dropped off my charismatic passenger, there was a side of me that had hoped to see him on his return trip if he was indeed going to ride back downtown where I picked him up. Maybe not. But we will see.
As I got closer to that particular street, I could see that the half a mile distance between my bus and that stop where he might be was backed up as there was some type of commotion with the cops and an ambulance right there. Oh well, i guess I will be stuck in traffic, delayed and become the emotional dartboard for all of those angry passengers who do not want to hear why I am late even though they can see why I am not on time.
I put myself in that “zone” in order to make the time pass by faster as I crept up the street slowly only to allow me to see something that ripped my heart out and put my day into a divine perspective like no other! There was obviously a mishap at that intersection, maybe a car accident? No. There were no vehicles that were in any collision there as the cops would have been writing a report on any obvious smack up. So what was it that I saw that bothered me so much?
Well, as my bus slowly pulled past the scene of the commotion, it was obvious that someone had some type of urgent medical issue that needed immediate attention. I prayed that whoever it was that things would be okay with them and that the ambulance got there on time to take care of it. But as I tried my best to grab a look into the ambulance with the tiny window of opportunity that I had, I noticed a male figure laying on the stretcher in with the EMS workers frantically working over him as to revive them.
I couldn’t see who it was because I do know so many people in the neighborhood because of my job being a bus driver, so I guess I will have to wait until my return trip to ask the folks who were out there that if they knew who it was.
But at this point in time as I took another glance the answer came to me…….
In the street on the ground near the ambulance was a dark brown hat, a fedora, the one that my divinely inspired friend wore in such a dapper manner while he shared his testimony with me just a few hours earlier! Not only that, but my business card was about ten feet away from the hat slowly blowing away down the street! Oh my God! I hope he makes it through! I couldn’t leave the bus but had to continue on to the next stop.
When I let the doors of the bus open to let in those passengers I overheard what the two older women were speaking about, they mentioned how the “man” (My friend!) while waiting on the bus stop had some type of seizure or heart attack that took him on out of here on the spot! He passed away that quick!
so he WAS waiting on the bus and probably would have gotten a chance to speak with me if I had gotten there just a tad earlier! But while I now should have been sad, a sense of peace washed over me as his words came back to me that he spoke mere hours earlier…….
“This may be my stop, but we will definitely meet again one day to continue this joyous conversation as long as you do what you are suppose to do while still on this level in obedience to your Creator. Just be glad for the time that we just spent connecting and everything will be alright…….”
This man knew his time was near and he had no problem with that because he knew that he was right with God. Now the mystery of his words were truly unlocked and the message to me seem so very loud and clear. If you are not right with your Creator, please make sure that you make it right as your life depends on it because it does! More so than your life but your soul for an eternity!
He knew where he was going but I had to do my part according to scripture to make sure I was going where he was going! That day I made sure to press forward to live a spotless life because that man’s life was sacrificed to give me a direct message from the Creator himself!
What more really could I say about the turn of events that day? I will tell you that the visual of that dark brown fedora on the ground with my business card blowing in the wind will never leave me. It told me that he really didn’t need my business card anyway where he was going because as always, God definitely had my number as we will all one day soon be back together again to continue that joyous conversation for an eternity!
Now how much more of a validation from God do I need than that?
My life may be fragile, but I will never ever be arrogant with the precious time that I have in it ever!