28 September 2012

'see ya' ('adventures on bus 132', vol. I)

time and time again, i'm reminded that amidst all the BIG things that happen in life, it's the small things that often have the most powerful impact.

and i've had some BIG changes occur in my life over the past several months.

vocationally, i've gone from leading a community that meets in a place like this...

to driving a community that meets in a place like this...

i've transitioned from a calling that involved a lot of communication that looked like this...

to one that includes a 'pulpit' that is located primarily right here...

i've adapted from a life where i spent a lot of time trying to 'handle' this...

to days that are mostly filled trying to 'handle' this...

for a guy that has an easier time finding an obscure poetic quote for a newsletter article than finding the gas tank on a bus, this has been a surprising and surreal adjustment to say the least.

i've spent most of my professional life dealing primarily with words, using a couple thousand in the span of a twenty minute message alone.

and now i'm serving in a way that requires maybe two dozen words at most. for the entire DAY.

i've invested a lot of my energy, heart and time helping others as they wrestle with the nitty gritty details of their lives, their most intricate and intimate experiences emotionally, relationally, vocationally, spiritually.

and now, i'm spending my time transporting students with special gifts and needs, of whose life stories i know little more than their names, addresses, and moods at the beginning and end of their school days.

and this has required a shift in my overall focus...

fewer words, and more action.
less pontificating, and more presence.
less focus on the BIG picture of life, and more attention to the small moments of the day.

in the process, i've come to recognize how words alone rarely tell the full story of what's going on inside a person.

one of the students i drive (who i'll call Theo), a hulking young man with tousled blonde hair, an overly active imagination (and at times an overly salty vocabulary), had walked past me every day that i picked him up from school, barely acknowledging my greeting whilst always muttering something to himself or the others in the back of the bus. same story as he exits the bus at his house. for a person with special needs, he's surprisingly interactive interpersonally and basically friendly. he just hadn't really acknowledged my interactions with him or even made eye contact with me.

until yesterday.

when i dropped him off, he rumbled down the aisle right past me as i said, 'have a great day, Theo...see you tomorrow', down the steps and out the door.

but before i closed the door, he stopped, turned around, looked me straight in the eye, and said something. to ME.

'see ya.'

small thing in the grand scope of life.
but a BIG point of connection and acceptance for both of us.

and a BIG reminder to me of how much in life i've missed because of myopically focusing on what i've thought are the BIGGER, more 'important' things like my future, my career, my vision of what life 'should' be, rather than allowing attention to the smaller things that make up the life i've been given here and now broaden my scope and widen my perspective, and deepen my experience of the journey of life as it IS.

fewer SPOKEN words.
more LIVING words.


  1. LOVE IT! Especially appreciate the dichotomous (is that a word?) photos. Definitely helps paint the picture. As a fellow big-picture thinker, I need reminded that the little moments/things are just as important.

    1. Thanks, Anne...yes, dichotomous is a word (at least according to my spell check ;)...keeping being inspired and empowered by the small things in BIG ways...peace, b.