Not because the bus stops, you should get on it


My destination was Hayward, but my transit stop was Oakland. I decided to take Greyhound to Oakland, than the train to Hayward because I didn’t want to drive. After waiting for at least two hours, I stepped toward the side door of the bus and handed my ticket to the driver. He ushered me on the bus barely glancing at my ticket. I got in my seat, put my earphones over my ears, closed my eyes, and three hours later I was in Reno.

I was furiously boiling inside, to fine myself in Reno and not Oakland, but kept my cool. The bus driver apologized for not looking intently at my ticket and offered a six hours drive on another bus heading to San Francisco. It was a drive that would take me from Reno, back through Sacramento en route to San Francisco. I promptly declined and asked for a bus back to Roseville, Sacramento, where I left my car.

My money was reimbursed, and I got a free ticket with priority boarding back home. But it took me another three and a half hours back to where I came from.

The lessons I think I learned from this, besides discovering that I am not as smart as I thought I was – are these:

Lesson 1
Not because the bus stops – you should get on it. Not because an opportunity presents itself – you should take it. Not because she’s got a nice pair of legs, you should date her. Not because he’s hot and drives Lamborghini you should fall for him. Some opportunities were never meant for you to take. They usually turn out to be another long ride from Roseville to Reno and back – not being able to achieve your goals. So, next time, when the bus stops, when she walks by, when he drives by, or when opportunity comes knocking – make sure it’s the right bus, the right girl, the right guy, the right opportunity. You don’t have to get on the bus because it stopped.

Lesson 2
It’s not the end of the world if you took the wrong bus. Even though you got on the wrong bus, even though you made a mistake, even though you got in the wrong relationship, even though you took the wrong opportunity, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can learn from your negative experience and turn them into positive life lessons. I have never been to Reno, so I took the two and a half hour window, before my next bus home, to do some site seeing, take pictures, enjoy a nice meal and complete the lyrics to a new song. So the next time you make a bad decision, don’t let it ruin everything, don’t sit around throwing a pity party, turn it around by doing something worthwhile. Don’t stop living – make new friends. Never forget – your times and seasons are in his hands.

Lesson 3
It is never too late to start over. As long as you have what Andy Andrew calls “the proof of hope”, it’s never too late to get back in the the game. I got back on the bus and went home. But the next morning, I was right back at the station. I made sure, this time that I was boarding the right bus, the right train. I made sure I had the right address to where I was going in Hayward. By the end of the day I had accomplished my purpose for going on that trip. But I wouldn’t have, if I had said to myself – “I am too tired, too discouraged I didn’t do this yesterday, I wasted my time, it’s too late.” It is never too late to reach your goals – as long as you have breath – God is not finished with you yet!

Few pictures from Reno

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32 responses to “Not because the bus stops, you should get on it

  1. You got to do some free sightseeing in Reno and took some fine pictures! Those unintentional detours can be a blessing sometimes…sorry it took so long though.

    I enjoy all of your thoughtful writings.

    (Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way.)

    Peace be with you,
    Sister Olive

  2. good lessons indeed Walter! I have learned that the hardest lessons are the ones that are intended for me to learn the most from…..by the way, when I was stationed in SF, I experienced a lot of unintended rides on the BART because I didn’t know which station to get off on….but turns out, that’s the best way I learned the area! :)

  3. Hi, Pastor
    Don’t know what the final tally was at helping hands, but we did get it open and running. I work “back-up” so will take Brent’s place tomorrow. Sold some books, fanny pack, kitchen items and $20 jewelry chest. Even started my Christmas shopping.
    Sent you another poem……Nell

  4. I’ve been to Redding. I took the kids one year on vacation. “Vacation to REDDING????” Yeah, long story. :)
    I will definitely look up you and your family while we’re there.
    Will be in touch on the blogs in the mean time.
    God bless!
    Vanessa

  5. I moved to Sacramento about 7 or 8 months. We actually have a house here and another up north in the Redding area where I pastor a small church. My wife works here in Sacramento and the kids go to school here as well. But we are back in the Redding area over the weekend – it is like our mission field. Seems like you don’t mind road trips so you are welcome to come with us – it is about a two and a half drive from Sacramento. Please let me know, it will be an honor to have you come.

  6. Hey there Patrick, you are absolutely right. I am glad everything turned out perfect. Because both places in Oakland and Hayward, where I had to go are very dangerous areas – quite frankly I don’t think I’ll ever go back there in my life. Unless the Lord send me there. But it had been snowing that day on the way to Reno, and I tell you, it was a beautiful drive.

  7. Hey Aquileana, thanks for the awesome feedback. somebody once said, “experience is the best teacher.” But they got it wrong. “Other people’s experience is the best teacher.” I am glad you found the post useful. Cheers to you as well! Walter

  8. What a great post… I really enjoyed your advice here and also found it useful… And those pictures are really gorgeous, Thanks Walter;

    Cheers, Aquileana ;)

  9. Amen to #3 it is never too late to start over. Praise God for the second, third, etc. chances He gives us in our lives!! Thanks for this great post my friend.

  10. Wow it’s snowing already!
    I didn’t know you’re in Sacramento! Do you have a church there? We’ll be there from 12/20-12/30 so if you guys have Christmas Eve or Christmas service, maybe I’ll bring my family.

  11. Walter,
    Bummer on the bus mix up! I have to say that as much as I dislike Reno, I’d rather end up there than some parts of Oakland or Hayward (sorry if I insulted anybody in these two cities). The drive to Truckee and Reno is a beautiful drive…into the Bay Area not so much. Glad you finally made it to your destination safely.
    Patrick

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