That’s Not Your Bus!

It’s been some six months now in Lagos (the busiest city in Nigeria) but I still don’t get the whole commuting process. You walk to a bus stop, keep your ears open through deafening sounds as bus conductors yell out the names of their various destinations.

So there I stand, looking so lost and paranoid as I tighten my grip on my handbag while waiting for a bus. A bus soon arrives heading my way and the other impatient commuters almost throw me off course as they push and shove their way into the bus. I just don’t get the rush! An average Lagosian walks at five steps per second (Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating) but you get the point; everyone is in a hurry.

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The first bus leaves and then the next and I begin to pace as I frantically glance at my wrist watch. ‘Lord, send me my bus’ I silently pray. Emphasis here is on ‘my’ not just ‘a’ bus but ‘my’ bus. Now this is where we take this analogy into other things that matter far more than just getting a ride to our destinations.

There’s a bus for everyone. But most times we miss it as a result of impatience. Let’s face it, the world is in such a hurry that we begin to set time for God (the one who created time). We say stuffs like; Lord, I want to graduate at 21. Get married at 24. And while you’re at it, get me that multi-billion dollar contract before I turn 30. And God is probably smiling as He looks at the master plan and shakes his head like ‘these kids don’t know what they are saying’.

Ever heard that line ‘God is always right on time’? Well, it doesn’t always look like it. Come on! We’ve been waiting for good stuffs to happen. Time is running out. I want to graduate. I want to get married. I want to have kids. I want that big job. I want to move to a new location. God, are you even listening? And then He goes; Chill child, I’ve got this. Wait for it.

Only a few of us would heed and wait. But within a few months we begin to panic. Oh God, it’s not happening. You said I should wait, but clearly you’ve forgotten about me. Look at my friends, they’ve got new jobs, new cars and did you see that Diamond rock on her finger? Or don’t you love me?

Some of us even decide to help him. Umm, Lord, you’re yet to send the man after your heart for me, but come on, this guy here is good. He doesn’t believe in you but he helps people. I guess this is it Lord. Oh yes! Even Sarah did it; we’ve been waiting for this son you promised. Well, maybe you wanted us to figure out how to make it happen. So here, Abraham, take Hagar and let’s make a baby! We feel God is not fast enough and we want to help catalyze the process.

Personally, I think it’s not in our DNAs to wait. We want things and we want them NOW!!! We push, we shove, just to have our ways. We even sulk, get angry at God, and get envious of our friends who seem to be having things working right for them. When things aren’t happening at our pace, we feel God is slow. So slow, the internet explorer is way faster!

Sometimes God allows us have our way. We get on-board the wrong buses and learn the lessons we could have avoided on the journey. The relationship we hurried into turns sour. The stuffs we pushed others to have doesn’t satisfy any more. We end up in a miserable state we didn’t have to be, if only we waited.

Waiting is hard. It’s frustrating. The worst part is when you’re waiting and others are moving. Ever been on a lane in traffic that isn’t moving an inch and you look through the window to see another lane where the cars are flying past. You’d be tempted to blame yourself or the driver for not being on that lane or in that fast moving bus.

To be honest, there would be such moments when people around you would seemingly be on fast lanes. Getting different breakthroughs they didn’t necessarily have to wait for. And you might begin to panic. But at that point, it is most crucial that you hang on to the promises God has made to you through his word.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word-Heb 10:23 (MSG)

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful-Heb 10:23 (NIV)

Back to my story. Within a few minutes, ‘my’ bus arrived. No one struggled with me for it. The bus waited till I got in and I even got a comfortable seat! I got to my destination right on time. And I smiled within myself and blessed God.  🙂

Please note, this doesn’t always happen in the physical sense of it in Lagos; especially if your faith doesn’t carry it; you may just end up getting super late for work. Please be wise in this regard!

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However, in the spiritual sense of it, it is important you are sensitive to your correct bus. Don’t get on the wrong bus just because it’s on the fast lane. Besides, why hurry when the one who controls time says ‘it’s not yet time’? He will make things happen for you at the time He has appointed, and believe me, there’s no time more perfect than that!

Take a chill pill. Relax. God’s got this. 🙂

It’s always my desire that you live victorious lives.

Lots of love ❤

© Mfon Etuk, 2015

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The Bus Wait

Tired. Exhausted.
The hot mid-day sun liberally shines down on me, withholding nothing.
The light reflects on my sunshades
Queuing like ants searching for food, we all line up
At the mercy of the buses
When they would arrive, no one knows
Yet we patiently wait, unsure of the possibility of getting on the next bus.

No shade. The winds are on a standstill.
Been standing for a while now
40 minutes or 40 hours?
I’m afraid I can’t tell the difference
Looking at my phone screen-
My only companion
Hoping to get a ping or a buzz…

The blank screen reflects an image of me right now-
Alone. Abandoned.
I sigh and look up, desperate for a bus.
Buses begin to drive by
None going on my route.
Tired commuters begin to sit on the hot pavement
The closest thing to comfort.

Whatever happened to the over 100 BRT buses?
Stuck in traffic?
Or the obvious fuel scarcity that has crippled every institution?
My mind shuts down for a minute
Unable to analyse the unpleasant situation.
I need a drink. Something cold.
I glance around searching for a mobile drink carrier.

Thankfully there he is! I quickly pay for the bottle of apple drink, twice its normal price and gulp like a girl who has sojourned the Sahara desert for a month without water.
The long queue behind me gives me a thin thread of hope to grasp.

It’s been 4 hours already.
I should be in bed right now.
My jacket is off and my shirt untucked
Shoes taken off, earplugs in place,playing songs that do little or nothing in easing my depression,
I’m sitting on the pavement with careless abandon
Don’t get me wrong, I’m way past anger and disappointment
I just want to go home.

A brilliant light penetrates through the dark night
As it gets closer, hope springs forth
Everyone scrambles to their feet.
Finally, it’s here.
I don’t care about the tiresome wait anymore
All that matters is that the bus is here and I’m on my way home.

© Mfon Etuk, 2015

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