Yesterday evening I made two mistakes* while driving bus. Nothing bad came of either of them (thank you Jesus!), but they were big enough to notice, and, frankly, I don't make too many like that these days. My growing confidence doesn't mean that everything will always go well, but it certainly does help. I'm doing good work... surprisingly so considering how nervous I was to start.
I will learn from yesterday's errors, just like I learn from the
experiences that that the Lord provides for me every day, particularly
at my job. I'll grow in patience through them too as I am afflicted
sometimes by the mistakes of others. Give me a call or write back and we'll talk and pray together about how God can work through the experiences you're dealing with today... mistakes and all.
Human beings are remarkable creatures. We can do so many things. Last night Toni and I and my sister Karen went to a late movie. The Martian is on the big screen now. (I justified spending the money to go because some movies are "big" enough to be worth it.) In the movie the main character deals with problems after having been left alone on Mars. He ends up surviving** with a lot of help from the technology that he has on hand, through his ability as a botanist (he grows Martian potatoes), through the help he eventually finds as he reconnects communications with Earth, but also through the quick thinking and ingenuity that God has built into us.
It's the "quick thinking" and "ingenuity" parts I can relate too, plus the advantages that the modern bus technology puts in my hands. Bus driving isn't rocket science, but dealing with unexpected situations is--sometimes life or death ones--and dealing with them quickly. So quickly that I can really see God at work right there on the road.***
A couple weeks ago I was talking with a Cokato friend who works with large equipment. He said, and I agree, that the big machines become a kind of extension of our bodies. Tiny signals and sensations that come to me through my eyes and hands and feet... and my whole body as I "rock and roll" to see everything... those things combine in a way that is hard to describe. I end up just "knowing" where the corners of the 62 foot long bus are at and what sort of spaces I can get into or get out of. As I gain experience I'm needing less time to consciously analyze what's going on. I just drive. And normally that works quite well.
I don't know all of what it means that we human beings are made in the "image of God" (as we read in Genesis chapter 1), but these abilities that can grow, even in an old guy like me, are evidence that is true. Who knows... perhaps someday we will go to Mars.
My experience driving bus isn't as awesome as that, but it does teach me that more is possible with us than we might think. God does amazing things in and through us. Wow!
*Two mistakes, that is, that were big enough to remember. There are always little snafus. Every day I'm reminded how much more I have to learn.
**I've that much of the scenario portrayed in The Martian movie, except the
wind storms, are quite sound on a scientific level. See this article:
"The science behind 'The Martian' gets a NASA 'thumbs up.'"
***This week a passenger remarked with some astonishment about how I had seen, and avoided, a
bike rider who rocketed alongside and then turned in front of the bus.
As I said to her, "it's part of the job." After awhile, we just see and
know pretty much what's going on all around us. That's why I remember
certain mistakes like the ones I made yesterday. They're honestly quite
(I continue to be amazed at the ways I've been adapting to this work.
By next weekend I'll be two thirds of the way through the 6 month
probationary period every new driver deals with. The routes I drive
right now are quite easy, but that will change. Next Friday I'll "pick my work" for the routes and trips I'll drive
from mid December until mid March. Last night I brought some paperwork
home to help me decide. I'm not the last one to pick this time. Others
have finished training and have started work since my class did. I think
there are about 20 or more drivers with less seniority than me. There
are many more ahead of me though, so I won't really know my options until