Life Behind a School Bus

The line of cars just gets longer. We go a little down the road, then the flashing red lights burn bright in the afternoon sun, the eight sided red sign sticks out clearly from the side of the yellow carrier of children, and a long protective appendage sticks out the other side of the vehicle … just to make sure no child inadvertently steps in front of the bus in an area not visible to the driver.

Kids step out and run home. The lights cease, the appendages retract, and we start to move again.

The line of cars just gets longer. We go a little down the road, then the flashing red lights burn bright in the afternoon sun, the eight sided red sign sticks out clearly from the side of the yellow … (you get it, over and over it happens if you’re caught behind the yellow vehicle of public transportation … over and over)

Yesterday, I was going down a 15 mile stretch towards James River State Park. I got behind a school bus. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. About a dozen times. I could have gotten mad. I could’ve looked for a short stretch of asphalt and attempted to pass. I could’ve Googled a go-around. I could’ve done a lot of things. But I decided to be patient and observe. To see snippets of life that demonstrate life lessons. And though there are more than I observed, here are a few from which you might glean a truth to apply …

There are many things that slow you down in life. Learn to live with them. Most will soon be over and forgotten. Some might be God’s way of just getting you to breath a little. God desires us to slow down periodically. He invented the Sabbath after all – for us!

If you can’t live with the delays, learn to avoid that particular set of circumstances next time. I could’ve travelled that road earlier or later. But if I did that, I wouldn’t have this particular blog post to write.

Your delay may just be somebody’s normal life, or a difficult time for them. This was just kids coming home from school. They weren’t out to get you. They aren’t the bad guys. Don’t get mad just cause other people have a life. Last month I was caught in a 90 minute delay in Interstate 64. I could’ve gotten mad, but I need to realize the delay was a major accident. A life threatening accident. Instead of whining, I spent time praying for those involved.

Some do life alone, others don’t. As kids were kids were getting off the bus, some had people waiting for them … parents or siblings there to escort them back inside. Others did not have people waiting. Now, they may have someone inside watching, it was a tad frigid after all. But we need to appreciate those that wait for us, journey with us, car about us. I was a latch-key kid from middle school and on. Later, I came home from my graduate studies to an empty apartment. No one waiting for me. It is a joy to realize we are not doing life alone. I appreciate my wife. I try to be there when she gets home from work, especially those late nights.

We care for our kids. Safety goes into building the buses … Flashing lights. Bold colors. Training for drivers. And even now, buses are putting Covid protocols into place. We care for our kids. This is reflected across our society.

This is the idea for safety precaution against those who drive to close behind a school bus.

When we care about people, we continue to learn how to protect them. They added the stop sign. They added the extended arm to prevent cross overs. They added cameras to catch infractions of those passing a stop bus. Some of these are reactive additions (something happened somewhere) but we should also be proactive to how can we make life better.

We live a great society that strives to educate our young children. And we offer it at no expense. (Yeah, I know the taxes pay for it.) You might not like public schools. You might be active in the current political fights over school boards and think the schools are of the devil. You might homeschool, private school or not have kids to even concern yourself with school. But I’m glad we have them and that America shows this is important.

Bus Drivers need to be appreciated. Yelling parents … rowdy kids … safety for dozens of kids, your kids … ignorant drivers around them … school system pressure … remembering routes … legal requirements for the job … keeping cool with everything going on. This is not an easy job. When I was in high school, they let high school students drive buses. Wow. I can’t even imagine that today. Pray for them. If you know one, tell him thank you. Appreciate the mechanics too. They have a serious responsibility as well.

In reflection, life is like driving behind a school bus. Appreciate the lessons we learn from it.

Is there something I missed? Let me know.





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