Riding the Bus

At a meeting this weekend, another recovering addict shared that he tries to let God have the driver’s wheel in his life, but that he then becomes a terrible back seat driver. He said, “I need to get out of the car and ride in a bus, way in the back, so I can’t keep telling God what to do.”

I loved this analogy! How often do we assume that our lives are supposed to be comfortable rides in custom, leather-seated, temperature-controlled little sports cars, with God as our own personal “Geves,” driving us wherever we want to go, at the pace we set, playing the radio station we prefer, and completely insulated from the other cars on the highway? After all, it’s all about my journey. Everyone else is just scenery- other cars to pass, police officers to avoid, breakdowns or accidents that slow down traffic and disrupt my agenda. How arrogant!

We “get on the bus” when we recover through a twelve-step program. Our experience of the journey is distinct to us, but we make it alongside other travelers. Our choices affect them and theirs affect us. If I were to sit in the bus shouting directions at the driver, the other passengers are there to tell me to shut up and trust Him, or get off. I start to learn to turn over my will and my “trip” to the only one who knows how to get me to my destination safely. Through my interaction with other passengers, I start to learn how to have healthy boundaries, think of others, and take responsibilities for my own actions.

Yes, the journey will be uncomfortable at times. I won’t always get my way. But that’s how I begin to have some acceptance of others, of life on life’s terms and of myself. When I willingly engage in traversing my life’s path in this way, committing to it fully and honestly, amazing things will begin to take place. I will cease just trying to survive and begin to truly live.

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