The Parable of the Church Bus (Oct 1992)

By Matt Dabbs

by Mike Cope
October, 1992

6As the bus rolls out of the parking lot, the driver calls out the destination on the itinerary. He has been handed this itinerary and fully intends to follow it.

But a few passengers seated around the bus don’t like what they’ve heard. “That’s not where we want to go,” they murmur. Their shared dissatisfaction brings them together. Then their whispers swell into a shout, “We are not going there! We’ve never gone there before, and we don’t plan to go this time!”

The frantic driver tries to reason with them: “Come on, folks, hang in there with us. Give it a try. We need you along.” But they insist, “No! Not only do we not like the direction you’re going, but if you continue we’ll get off the bus.”

“Now what will I do?” wonders the driver. But he knows. He can’t afford to lose these passengers. So he announces that the itinerary is being changed.

And many other passengers are heart-broken.

As another bus pulls out of the lot, its driver also announces the itinerary. Again there are a few who are violently opposed to the direction the bus is heading. “Who knows where he’ll want to go next?” they ask.

So they make their demands: “We want this bus turned around now – or we’re getting off and finding another bus!”

This driver is also distraught. Bu he knows he can’t cave in. After all, the itinerary isn’t his own. His supervisor had handed it to him.

“I understand that you’re not happy,” he says. “But I want you to go with us. After all, this has been your bus for a long time. Let me listen to you to be sure I understand what you’re unhappy about. It must be frustrating to want to go in a different direction.”

“Not only that, but if I can’t convince you, I’d be glad to have you on the bus offering a voice of precaustion and displeasure – as long as you don’t bring mutiny!”

“And I’ll go even a step beyond that. I value you so much that if you can’t in good conscience remain on this bus, I’ll slow down long enough to help you on another bus that’s going where you want to go. And I won’t thin any less of you because you weren’t ready to follow the itinerary I was handed.”

“There’s only one thing you’ can’t do. You can’t drive the bus. We’re not changing directions just because you aren’t happy.”

And the other passengers rejoiced!Wineskins Magazine

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1579 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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