I posted the following paragraph on my Facebook wall this morning. Below that is the rest of the story.
Walked in the door last night at 11 PM. After leaving Lexington, bus started overheating and we pulled off into a small town. Bus driver said it might be 4 hrs before a replacement bus could come. But somehow he got it “ok” and we limped 130 miles over the mountains to Knoxville more than an hour late, where they put us on a new bus. Got to Chattanooga only 40 minutes late but Janis was delayed down the road due to torrential rains. Eventually however, home sweet home!
I’ll have to add a little bit more to the story. I’ll admit by that point I certainly wanted to be home pretty badly, but I heard the change in the engine while riding and knew something was up. The driver stopped the bus twice on the interstate and went back and fiddled with it, and the sound would get worse. But I just had a calm about it. Even when the driver told some people while stopped in Berea it might be 4 hrs wait, what was there to do at that point but to wait and see what the Lord was up to? Then he fiddled some more, talked on the phone to headquarters, and we boarded and he said, “If we can make it over the first mountain I think we’ll be alright.” That wasn’t exactly great news, but it was a lot better news than if we had been in an airplane, instead of a bus. So all 50 of us finally rolled off again.
Then it hit me. “Ok, I see now what to do.” I thought of Paul who said they would all be safe on the ship, and even thought of the One who stilled the winds and calmed the waves. So I just calmly said inside myself that all the necessary molecules that needed to be reoriented into their proper functions in the workings of the bus engine, would be so reoriented, and that we would make it over the first mountain and on over first to London, KY, and then to Knoxville. All the way up the mountain I’m hearing and feeling every stress and every groan the bus makes, but as we ascend the bus gains power and speed and starts passing slower vehicles. I just keep thanking and praising and the bus keeps building steam. Thoughts enter my head that I’m being silly and the bus still won’t make it, but it goes in one side and out the other, just thanking and praising. 0And then we’re over the mountain and run smoothly all the way into London. After a brief stop there it was 90 more miles through more mountains to Knoxville. And it was raining hard all the way. The bus started getting sluggish but kept going.
Usually I am more a silent observer of everything and everybody when I am doing something like that alone. But I notice lots. Moms with kids. Really stressed folks. Tired and worn out. Al ages,l races, creeds and colors. One young man had caught my attention for some reason, didn’t know why. Later I saw him reading 1 Corinthians. I had a few of my audio CDs with me, so I slipped one out and waited for an opportunity to talk to him. When we got to Knoxville and changed buses it was mass confusion and I lost track of him, and I thought he had not boarded the same bus. But when we finally got to Chattanooga he got out for a rest break. The Spirit said, “Give him a CD.” So I was about to when he went a different direction back out the door to get on the bus and I thought I’d lost him again. But just then he suddenly rushed back in to get something, so I knew this was the moment. I got his attention and asked him to come over. I said, “Didn’t I see you reading the scriptures?” He grinned and said yes. So I said, “Look, I share about the things of the Lord and I wanted to give you this of mine, it might be something for you.” I gave him a copy of “Lean Not.” (On audio page in my blog) So he shook my hand heartily and smiled and thanked me, and off he went to Atlanta. I’m not going to be surprised to run into him again.
So when I got a message from Janis that she was held up 20 miles down the road due to rains too heavy to drive in, I didn’t mind being off the road for a little while and walk around. She finally made it in, so wonderful to see her, and we went through the same rain the 70 miles back home and there’s no place like home!
Until the next adventure …