Missing the Bus

Long-distance relationships are complicated. I work and live in the beautiful city of San Antonio, TX and my boyfriend does the same… In Houston.

To complicate things further, I don’t own a car. So, buses are a regular part of my relationship diet.

A few weeks ago, I was making my regular trip to H-town. My roommate agreed to drop me off at the bus stop and we got there 15 minutes early. These buses had notoriously been late my last few trips–usually by about 5 minutes–so you’ll understand why I was a little surprised to see a double-decker already waiting in the parking lot.

“I’ll check and see if it’s mine,” I said. “If not–mind waiting with me until my bus arrives?” Like a good friend, Allie obliged.

I walked to the bus with confidence, leaving my backpack in her car. A neon sign indicated it was traveling to New Orleans.

Definitely not mine.

I settled again Allie’s car, watched, and waited. My bus would be here soon.

At 7:15 the current bus’s engine cranked and it rumbled away from the empty parking lot. I kept an eye out for the next one.

7:20. I was growing nervous. 7:30. I saw a large blue vehicle pulling around the corner.

“Finally,” I said, a relieved sigh escaping my lips.

No reason to fear. My bus had arrived and everything was okay.

I thanked Allie for the ride and stood in line for boarding. That’s when I caught sight of the neon sign.

Dallas.

What? You mean this wasn’t mine either?

I stepped out of line and watched as the bus emptied, filled, and drove away. Another 30 minutes passed and third bus arrived. This time I was suspicious.

“Excuse me,” I tapped a girl on her shoulder. She had been waiting here longer than I had. “Are you going to Houston?”

She wrinkled her brow. “That bus left an hour ago. I’m going to Austin.”

Blood rushed to my face. My heart pounded. An hour? No. But that one went to New Orleans! That wasn’t mine, was it? There was only one way to be sure.

“Thank you for calling MegaBus,” a nice man cooed on the other end of the phone line, “how may I help you?”

“I just need to know if the bus from San Antonio to Houston already left.”

I heard a clickety-clacking on the other end of the line.

“Yes ma’am,” he said. “That bus left as scheduled at 7:15.”

My breathing failed, the oxygen driven out by shame and embarrassment. Now I would have to drag Allie all the way back here to pick me up!

But how did I miss my bus? It said New Orleans! I was sure of it!

***

Dear reader, listen as I say this: Life only has one speed.

“On.”

No matter what, the sun will continue burning. The earth will continue rotating. The universe won’t stop to make sure you take the right bus.

You see, had I slowed down for a minute and actually read the sign, I would have noticed bright orange letters scrolling across the marquee:

“San Antonio -> Houston -> New Orleans.”

It was right there, blindingly orange. I just didn’t look.

Every day we face a dozen new decisions. Some life-changing and some trivial. Should I apply for that job? Should I marry my mate? Should I watch tv tonight or should I study? Should I cook dinner? Perhaps I’ll just eat cereal…

Whatever the choice, remember, a little caution can save you a LOT of headache. The devil likes confusion. He rushes things, but the Lord comes with clarity and peace of mind. (1 Peter 5:8, Romans 16:20)

So, stop. Take in your surroundings. For Pete’s Sake, don’t run so fast you can’t breathe. Gather all the facts! Then, and only then, are you qualified to make a decision.

Take it from a girl who lost precious time with her best friend because of one careless mistake: Slow down or you might just miss your bus.

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