MISSED THE BUS NARROWLY
However justified your reasons are, they will never bring back a wasted opportunity.
Almost Caught the Bus
As he was approaching, dejection was perceivable on Eddy’s (not his real name) countenance. Something must have disheartened him. He was carrying a bag on the left hand while the other arm was hanging weightily, pulling him down as if it wasn’t part of his body. His bowed head showed a collapsed spirit. He looked like he had covered tens of kilometres on foot.
I drew in breath in readiness to ask him what had gone wrong, but he spoke first, explaining what happened. The winter weather had been harsh. The ground was frozen and it was extremely slippery, movement was difficult. He had an important appointment in town and he had to catch a particular bus to get there in good time. If he failed to get the bus, he wouldn’t be able to honour the appointment at all. It would have been “better late than never”, but in this case, the next bus would come well after the expiry of the scheduled appointment. Either he was going to be there in time or miss the whole appointment—“better late than never” was irrelevant.
He had woken up in good time and was well conscious that he had an important appointment. He felt that he was well on course to get to the bus stop and head for town. There were, however, “little things” that kept on holding him back. He didn’t realise that the little things were robbing him of precious time. The few seconds he spent attending to “insignificant” things soon added up to meaningful minutes. When he finally shot out from his apartment, it was already late, especially because of the bad weather. He struggled his best, occasionally surviving some dangerous slips. He, however, kept his head up—he couldn’t afford to fall. Soon he was approaching the bus-stop. The bus had come and was picking people who were already at the spot waiting for it. He was relieved when his eyes caught with the bus driver’s.
According to him, the driver had seen him and would wait for him—or so he thought. Hardly three steps to make before he could jump into the bus, the doors closed and off it drove. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The bus just drove off when he thought he had caught up with it. At first he thought that the driver was just tantalising him; that he would stop for him to jump in but the bus actually drove off, leaving him behind—it was close! The pain of missing the important appointment weighed him down but not as much as the fact that he was so close to catch the bus. It is “better” to miss wide than to miss narrow. The narrower the miss, the more painful it would be. Eddy was particularly furious with the bus driver.
“Why did he do that to me?” He fumed.
According to him, the driver must have been a sadist. “How could he drive off when he could see how I had struggled on the slippery ground to reach the bus—and hardly four seconds to enter into it?” He lamented.
Repent or Perish!
Eddy was one of my closest friends. He had a warm place in my heart. I loved him. I could share his hurt but this wasn’t anything comparable to what had preoccupied my mind all along. After pouring his heart out how hurt he was, the response I gave him was nowhere sympathy-related in the situation. I was thinking of bigger disappointments lying ahead.
One day, a sister in the Lord at an International Students’ Fellowship asked me: “I perceive that Eddy is your good friend. How comes you don’t bring him to the fellowship meetings. Don’t you think God will ask you, ‘Where is Eddy?’” That was hard for me! I almost shed tears in front of her. I knew she didn’t know how much I had tried my best to show Eddy the way of the Cross but he seemed to be satisfied with being a good guy generally and topping it up with an amount of “religion”. Eddy “believed” in God but didn’t seem to pursue a relationship with the Saviour.
At one time, a debate ensued about whether God existed or not. He was emphatic to the affirmation of God’s existence. Nevertheless, he quickly got to the defensive when the question of being born-again came up. At this point, he lost the track and even argued on the side of the “atheists”.
After he had expressed his frustrations about the bus, I responded emphatically, “That is nowhere comparable to how it will be when Christ comes back!” The response above is like the one Christ gave to the people who came to report to Him what had happened to some Galileans.
Perhaps they had intended to get some sympathy, condolence and consolation...