Thursday evening. Cold. Dark. Wet. Very cold, dark and wet.
My turn to drive the Jesus bus to the car park. Parked on the farm owned and run by the Salvation Army. God stuff in a practical way. But, tonight, a very wet and cold and dark way.
Park my car. Unlock the beloved double-decker. Switch on the switches. Listen to the pre-start whistle. Start her up. And we have lift off.
Air “hydraulics” pressuring up. Warning whistles whistle their warning. Open the passenger doors. Final pee behind the bus before setting off. Into the drivers cab. Air system up to pressure and ready. Lights on. And off we go.
All routine. All as expected.
Apart from the “STOP” light. The renewed whistling as the air pressure dropped. That was not expected.
No pressure = no brakes.
Wait awhile. Try again. Same thing. Repeat a few times. And … Stop. There was a leak inside the front near side wheel housing. That universal sound of rushing air.
So several calls later, it was agreed I leave the bus parked and locked in its place, and a mechanic would sort the problem the following day – the team in the car park would speak to the young folk and explain we had no bus for them tonight – and I would head to the team in the car park.
Two opened and closed gates later I had left the farm and was heading back in the car, when I heard an assertive voice.
“You didn’t ask Me!!!”
And you know what … He was right.
Telephone calls, some prodding and poking, some trying this and that, some decisions … Yet I had not once “asked Him” as it all unfolded. So we had a conversation as I sat parked in my car. 100 yards from the farm. In the dark.
And the upshot was I spun around and headed back to the bus. Convinced by Him. Convinced that He wanted the bus to be running on God power that night. Convinced it would. My own little miracle. The bus was going out tonight.
Excited. Happy. Expectant.
Now read from the top again – as I went through the same routine. Talking to Him each step of the way. Doing each step of the routine. Including the final pee.
And keep reading.
Because the same things happened again. The STOP light. The same whistles. The same sound of rushing air … There was no miracle of the bus running on God power that night. It was grounded with or without Him.
Except there was a miracle that night. My miracle. Just not in the way I expected.
Because as I parked the bus and switched everything off for a second time, He calmly and quietly put His arm around me and whispered:
“Now you can go home.”
That is all. That is it. That is always it.
You never asked Me
This Sunday morning in church, so many – so many – will call to Him as we would a straying puppy. Join us Heavenly Father, come amongst us as we gather here together in your name. We are sinners. We are not worthy. Bless us with your presence we ask (beg?).
What about all those times we manage so well without Him. Never giving Him a thought. Never being aware that He is there all the time. That we don’t ever have to call him back. Because He never leaves. He never leaves. It is us that “leave”. It is us that are not even aware of Him waiting. Always waiting.
You never asked Me.
How come we go all pious and reverent in His presence? How come we forget something else.
That He created that raucous laugh. That irreverent laugh. That real laugh. The one that rang loud and loving around that cold, dark and wet farm last Thursday night. That warmed me from the inside.
How come we also forget that all the “real us” is also all “His stuff.”
Thanks for reading.
You can go home now.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂