I was running a bit late for an 8AM meeting. I was pushing the speed limit on a back road, hoping to minimize my tardiness. Then a school bus pulled onto the road about a quarter of a mile ahead. Argh! Now I would be late for sure. Predictably the bus lights started flashing and it slowed to a stop near a side street. I could see a mother waiting by her car. As the bus halted I saw one small hand waving happily to greet the driver. When the way was cleared and the STOP sign on the side of the bus was in place, the mother moved two small girls from the side of their car across the street to the bus. They were no more than a year apart in age, maybe even twins. Their backpacks were half the length of their petite bodies. I watched as this mother entrusted her precious cargo to a mass transportation operator and a public school system for another day. The bus lights extinguished and it lurched forward in pursuit of the next student.
By now I knew I would be unavoidably five minutes late to my meeting. But I was no longer thinking about that. Seeing that snapshot of morning ritual reminded me of what really matters. I was able to slow down mentally and take in the world around me rather than rush to a destination. I noticed the changing color of the landscape. I observed a V-formation of geese flying overhead. I saw a field of corn drying as feed for livestock in the winter ahead. Two little girls vulnerably crossing the road under the protective vigil of a mom and a bus driver focused my thoughts on what matters.
The demands placed on us each day are great. It would be easy to put our heads down and plow ahead, never looking up at the scenery God has given us. But the beauty around us is breathtaking and God’s hand is always ready to lead us. So look up, breathe in the crisp air and say a prayer of thanks!