What Bus Are You Driving?

BP Media Blog Speed

My church has a bus it sends around on Sunday mornings, collecting people who cannot drive themselves.

We have a list of about fifteen volunteer drivers. Yup, I'm on the list.

Every few months, my name rotates to the top and I take my turn.

It's pretty cool to be the person in the driver's seat because the people who ride the bus usually appreciate the service very much.

Last week a woman who uses a walker and struggles just to climb the steps to get on board quietly asked me a favor as we prepared to take everyone home.

She said, "It's such a beautiful morning and this is my only outing for the week. Would you please take your time taking me back so I can enjoy the sun?"

I made sure hers was the last stop and when we were alone, she told me story after story about the things going on in her life. Half of what she said was drowned out by the noise, but she was feeling good and she wanted to talk and it was an honor to serve her in that small way.

 

I really enjoy driving that bus because it represents something I believe in. I am taking people somewhere they want to go. While I am at the wheel, they trust me to take them there and home safely and they want to enjoy the ride.

So, what bus do you drive?

Whether you realize it or not, we all drive buses. How we live our lives, what we say, the way we treat others all determine the bus we offer to others. Where are you taking them?

Some people get to choose if they are going to get on board with you. Your friends, for example.

Others do not have a choice. Your spouse and children have to ride with you no matter where you are going. Employees and co-workers are also pretty much a captive audience.

As the driver, you have some responsibilities to the riders. You have to keep the destination in mind. Your job is to watch out for obstacles, detours and other dangers. Obey the rules of the road. Make sure the vehicle is maintained properly. Exude confidence in what you are doing and from time to time, maintain order among your passengers.

You are also expected to serve those people on board. Friends, employees and co-workers alike. Keep them comfortable with the heater and air conditioning. Lend them a hand as they get on and off the bus. Park close to the curb and wish them a good day.

 

Some people drive the angry bus. Others have the wheel to the chaos bus. I see the martyr bus, the guilt bus, the energy draining bus and the fake happiness bus. I see Sandra Bullock at the wheel of those rides and try not to stick out my thumb for a ride.

Maybe that's why I get so excited when I see someone who is optimistic, energetic, positive or forgiving. I am happy to get on board with them.

It is a privilege to be given the keys when other people are going to put their trust in you. Your moment-by-moment decisions affect everyone you are leading.

Here's a secret: you are leading people whether you want to or not. People are always deciding whose bus to ride.

In the social world, they have several options. If you are always in a state of chaos or drama or panic, you will drive people away. (They see Sandra at the wheel, too.)

If you are positive and energetic, you'll need a bigger bus because people will trust you and follow you wherever you are going. Even if they can't see the goal.

There are times when I really don't want to be the driver. It takes more time and energy and some days I just don't feel it.

Once I am committed, though, I am usually rewarded.

It seems like everything comes together, the sun comes out and someone I barely know asks to stay on my bus a little bit longer - just to enjoy the ride.

BP Media Blog Short Bus